25 January 2011


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.


Molly said...

No, it's called de-construction! In order to study how something was constructed he has to de-construct it. At the rate he's going, he should earn his PHD in De-construction about the same time he's graduating from Kindergarten! Shiny plastic toys from the store are a colossal waste of money. More for the grown -ups than the kids....

Anonymous said...

Way to put a shine on that! Our 3rd was the same way. We're thinking he's going to be in demolition or maybe an ice-hockey player.

Anonymous said...

Play is the child's work. I love hpw they learn through cause and effect, do and undo. He's so clever!

Knits in Church said...

Shirley's current favorite activity is to "feed the ducks"--which means to set out every duck-themed object in the house and have a tea party with them. You'll see duck stuffed animals and the rubber ducks from the bathtub sitting next to the duck teething ring she found in the couch cushions.