Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diggers and Dump Trucks and Cranes, Oh My!

Vehicles and heavy machinery... they continue to delight and amaze. 

We have new-home construction going on behind our house, and I tell you, it's hours of free entertainment. I can put the kids in front of the window and go out for a pint get ready in the mornings. I'll even find myself pulling up a seat to watch the backhoe dig enormous holes or the crane lift huge sections of roof onto the houses. 

Thursday mornings are exciting times in our house, too. Forget the ice cream truck; here comes the garbage truck! I wonder how many little boys they see on their routes, standing in the driveways in their jammies?

There's just something about vehicles, even if I already admitted I don't always get the fascination. At a recent playdate, the Cozy Coupe had to be put away 'for a break' due to 3 boys constantly trying to mash into it like clowns in a Volkswagen (OK, that fascination I get. I'd try to get in, too, if I could fit, and propel myself Fred Flintstone-style around the house. Brrmmm!).

Little Bro, cuddly as he is, never took to one stuffed buddy like his Big Bro did (who amassed a small town of buddies). He does, however, love to always be holding a vehicle, one in each hand. Usually, one of them is his favourite school bus, and the other he likes to mix up between a digger, car or some sort of truck, depending on what the occasion dictates. Looks like Edward Scissorhands, but with cars. 

One day we went out for the afternoon, and he held onto those cars with a death grip the whole time. I could see the deliberation at the playground, where he wanted to climb, but his hands were full. The tough life of a toddler.

With that, I give you my  rigmarole ritual for dressing such a toddler. You have to be quick, though, or suffer the wrath.

P.S.: Don't try to stuff the whole vehicle-and-fist combo through the sleeve. It'll be just as big a panic when it only fits halfway.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Story Time

I am a firm believer in reading with kids, pretty much as soon as their eyes can focus on a book.

I loved being read to as a kid. Richard Scarry's Nursery Rhymes was an old favourite-- including the Two Cats of Kilkenny, who fought and fit and scratched and bit until instead of two cats, there weren't any. The giant who intends to grind the Englishman's bones to make his bread. The fellow who went to Taffy the Welshman's house and beat him on the head with a marrow bone. I remember them all fondly to this day (no nightmares or anything).

And now I love reading to my kids, and they love to be read to. Mostly.

Big Bro can't get enough of story time and hearing his favourites. He loves being read to so much that he insists on finishing any book we start, even if it's one of those ones you realize halfway through is a dud (at least for a 3-year-old, or at least this 3-year-old). Take, for instance, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I'm spouting endless lines about Wumps and Zanses and yellow gox box socks or whatever the heck and thinking, Good Lord, this doesn't even make sense to an adult, he can't be liking this. He won't let me off the hook, though. He's hanging on for all 50 pages (or however long it is. Feels like 50).

It wasn't always that way, though. Story time with Little Bro, now 1.5 years old, brings back memories of trying to read a book while he repeatedly flips back to the page with the car, turns the page before you find out what's in the Great Green Room, or just plain packs it in two steps into the Barnyard Dance. If you haven't piqued his interest, that book's outta here.

I Love You Through and Through is just such a book that he often declares is at "The End" before it's over. Come on, it's cute! What's the matter, sentimentality not your thing? Fine, I say, YOU pick what we'll read, then.

"Beebee!" He says, waving around Where is Baby's Belly Button. Again.

Well, spoiler, kid, her feet are still behind the cat. Never ceases to get the rapt attention, though. Again! Again!... Sigh.

So, I guess there are some choices in our selection that can enchant a toddler. You just have to pick the right ones.

I remember wanting to draw the above cartoon when Big Bro was that age, so I'm guessing that's just what a blossoming love of books looks like when you're one and a half.