…then it’s the PERFECT toy.
We recently bought Aifric a toy box. Up until that point, her toys lived on top of the playmat she used (and loved) when she was a tiny baby, which in turn lived on top of the footstool. It was a dazzling focal point of our living room. And whilst OF COURSE we appreciated the bright colours of the jungle in our direct eyeline when trying to enjoy an episode of Parks and Recreation each evening, we were getting to the stage where we were ready for our living room to become (a little bit) ours again.
But I now sometimes wonder, if the toys just stayed in that toy box, and never ever came out again, would Aifric notice?*
It doesn’t seem to matter how many flashing, shiny, all-singing, all-dancing, jumping, moving, colourful toys we buy her… the ‘non toys’ for lack of another word (someone help me out here), are the MOST fun. And obviously, the MOST dangerous. Hence, the most fun. The investigative finger wants to explore and discover. The mouth wants to taste and lick. And Mummy wants a pair of eyes not only in the back of her head, but in both sides too please.
Here are 12 things which seem to provide the most thrill to our little explorer:
- Radiator knobs: can’t quite put my finger on what is so utterly fabulous about these yet. Will try to come back to you on that at some point. We haven’t put our heating on (even though we are nearing the end of October) but when we do, WELL, then Aifric will really be in control – as we either bake or freeze with each turn of the knob – it’s heating roulette.
- The corner-protectors on the coffee table: Aifric likes to pull these off and either present her prize to me with glee or put it in her mouth and carry it around the living room with great care like a golden retriever collecting eggs. I’ll often find a soggy plastic cube under the dining table.
- The nappy bin: I have nothing to say about this. WHY of ALL the things you could play with, would you go to that?
- The box we keep all our screwdrivers and screws in: a box of shiny things! Babe, if you want a box of fun things to go through I can give you lots of options – find my jewellery box (sidenote: please do not find that, because that’s just another thing to worry about and also, you could swallow something and we’d be in a whole world of trouble). But a box of screwdrivers and screws? Unless you are Ron from aforementioned Parks & Rec, just tell me WHAT is so breathtaking about those?
- Hinges: I actually can’t write about these without feeling sick in the pit of my stomach… Aifric likes to run her investigative finger over each screw in the hinge of our doors. It causes me great worry. I have tried to explain to her on numerous occasions why we don’t like hinges and why they are dangerous… and if anything, those conversations just spur her on.
- Door stops: I can’t yet work out what Aifric finds so appealing about these… maybe it’s the yelp I give when I see she has removed one from the bottom of a door and I watch the door close on her in slow motion as I throw myself in the way.
- The washing machine: an exception to the rule – this is not quiet. I can sort-of get on board with the mesmeric motion of the washing machine, and the suds and the noise. So she can have that one.
- Kitchen drawers: Aifric likes to use these as her own personal gym, practicing for iron-baby, it’s how she gets her daily pull-ups in.
- Plugs: literally the most boring thing that I could think of to play with, Aifric initially strokes them with a considerate hello, then when she has them under her spell and lured them into a false sense of security, she tries to jam her investigative finger into their holes.
- The stools at our kitchen counter: you wouldn’t think a person of her size and strength couldn’t pull them over. But oh, she can. The iron baby training has worked. And… SURPRISE! Suddenly I was catching a stool as it fell onto her in slow motion. Yes, we both got a shock when that happened.
- The bathroom scales: these are glass. Aifric attempts to show us how ready she is for iron-baby by trying to pick them up.
- The clothes horse: it doesn’t matter whether this is up or away – Aifric will make a game from it. If it’s away – then pulling it out from under the sofa is an excellent game. If it’s up – then sitting under it and pulling the washing off is also an excellent game.
It’s a daily battle – Aifric vs Our Home; Aifric vs Me.
In the meantime I continue to get all of her toys out of the toy box each morning and I continue to put them away again each night. Your sympathy is appreciated.
*Obvs I know she is interested in her toys, I am messing
**Photo: a range of photos showing our explorer