It seems that just like his Mum, if little Rory wants something, he just goes and gets it, which makes him, like his Mum, rather hard to buy for. I had planned to get him his two front teeth for Christmas, thinking I had plenty of time considering he is not even 5 months yet. However, true to genetic form, he has already got his two front teeth. What am I to do now? Chew it over I guess…
There has been a lot of discussion lately about non-gender toys, no more pink for girls, or soldiers for boys, so it makes the decision even harder. I’m sure many fathers before me hadn’t given much thought to what toys to buy a little one, and just bought what was put forward to them. I believe that most toys are typically seasonal and aren’t played with for too long anyway, as each child is constantly looking for some new treat. How else do you explain such a big toy industry, and in most homes, overflowing toy boxes full of stuff hardly touched anymore? Unless of course you call tripping on the strategically placed plastic lounge-mines and then putting them away, as touching. So what do I get a little one that doesn’t even know you exist once you’ve left the room ?..it’s a tough call.
To be honest I won’t be searching for something pink, but I also won’t buy him something typically male oriented. Even though I totally agree that gender stereotypes shouldn’t be forced on our young, so much so, that I intentionally wrote my first children’s book to be non-gender specific – I never refer to the central character’s sex. (Insert shameless plug for The Tale of Kangaroo Point here). But seriously, I feel this discussion of non-gender buying to be a little left of the mark, because either way, most of the toys that are made are pretty much useless bits of plastic that will end up in some land fill, or hopefully a second hand op shop to be recycled. I think the real discussion is, what will be the long term benefit of giving such an item ? Experience should be seen like currency, and I don’t want to be buying something that has no long term benefits, and quickly becomes worthless once you leave the store. I feel toys should be a capital investment in my little one, and therefore I want them to promote growth and yield a high return. Perhaps there is a little accountant in me after all, this would please my parents.
Looking back, I can see that my Mum and Dad didn’t buy me anything they saw as pointless, even the board games I received tended to be like Boggle, or Scrabble (the original Words With Friends), because they wanted me to learn during play, and probably also being an only child, they didn’t want to be playing something with me that had no point to it…ironically, The Game of Life sat in this category.
This Christmas, the decision for me on what to get, probably isn’t so important, as the little guy seems pretty occupied by his toes at the moment, but as his interests evolve it will be up to me to help guide him, like my Dad did for me. For the moment I’ve noticed he likes banging his hands on anything; tables; his thighs; his mum’s face; my crotch (ouch), so I’m thinking maybe a little drum or keyboard with sound effects might be a winner – try to channel that inner beat and rhythm. I will let you know how I go post summer equinox.
Anyway to wrap things up…yes I went there (it’s ok, I’m a Dad now), I put this to you little Rory – when you are old enough to read, and you are asking for the latest plastic crapenator, I will refer you to this little piece as to why you received a telescope, a chemistry set, or something sport like. If I feel a toy doesn’t help you learn something, you won’t be getting it from me, but feel free to buy it yourself with your earned pocket money, because Son, that’s the value of currency, if it’s your own, you can get what you want, and if it’s not, be thankful you get anything at all xxx
Stuff you have done lately
1. Said Dad three times (yes I can lay claim to the first word), not sure if you knew what you were saying but like any good Aussie, I’ll claim it. It took you some effort to get it out and much concentration, but it went like this NnnnnnnnnnnnnDaaaaaaaaaad. Too cute and your Mum can vouch for it also. You have also said No to Avó…cheeky monkey.
2. You have had your first couple of flights, and you’re a good little flyer. I’ve only had to by earplugs for a passenger once, and you prefer bosoms for a pillow (Cornershop’s song holds true).
3. You like to smack your Mum in the face to wake her up.
4. You are not big on being left alone, even for a minute. Hence your Mum has dubbed you the ginger whinger, only because it’s easier to rhyme than auburn.
5. You are getting better at tummy time, although since you have learnt to roll, you much prefer to do that.
6. Your farts stink ! Like a little stinky malinky poo poo monster.
7. You love spinning, rolling, and being thrown and caught. Your face lights up and you start giggling with glee ( Your mother hates the up up catch game but it’s our little secret;)
8. You love the boogah song and all its re-mixes. He’s the boog boog boogiddy boog.
9. You can hold your own bottle, and have learnt how to get monkey to play his music by pulling on the handle.
11. You adore your Avó and her big pillows, and love nudey nude time during your daily bath with Mummy.
12. Your yoga skills have become enviable, you can actually put your foot in your mouth and I don’t mean by saying the wrong thing, that will come later.
With our little boy teething, his sleep has become even more precious. To help soothe and settle we use shooshas (dummies) from the freezer, and if needed we put a little (as directed) bonjela on the bottom of the shoosha and rub the area affected before bed. I’m not game to put my finger in after hearing his Mum’s cries. Occasionally, if he’s really irritable and all else fails, we use baby Panadol liquid via a syringe. During the day it is all about taking his mind off the sore little gums with plenty of play and love.