Thanks to generous friends and a well-stocked "dollar" aisle, Junior has lots of toys. There's the teddy bear that sings and tells stories. There's the musical top that lights up and does animal impressions. A deep-sea themed "fishing" puzzle? Got it. Enough alphabet blocks to spell out the Gettysburg Address? Got them, too.
At the moment, he's playing with... a cardboard box.
No, it's not a washing machine box done up like a little playhouse. It's just a box. A diaper box. Junior is seated on the floor, and is ever so carefully peeling of layer after layer of paper and depositing each scrap into a green plastic tote.
Like most toddlers, Junior is fascinated by the idea of destruction. Well, maybe not destruction. Perhaps he's just so into the idea of how things work that he feels driven to dismantle them to see what's inside.
Oh, wait. That IS destruction.
So he pulls out shoelaces and drawers, peels his crayons, and stomps on toast. He also likes to tear paper. It started with a small cardboard book, denuded and alone on the couch. Another followed, along with several puzzle pieces. There were paper bits everywhere. It was like living with a giant mouse.
Distraction efforts failed. When offered a newspaper to rip, Junior tossed it aside with a disdainful sniff. No challenge there. Napkin? Boring. Paper plate? Puh-leeze. In a last-ditch effort to save the Junior Library, Himself brought in a diaper box.
"Here! Tear this up all you want, but leave the books alone!"
Junior looked at the box. He picked at a corner. R-i-i-i-i-p. He smiled. The box came apart in thirty-seven minutes and five hundred eighty-two layers.
As of today, Junior is "excavating" his seventh cardboard box. Maybe he'll be an archaeologist.