It’s Not All Mary Poppins

House inspection by toddler

“Here, Mary! This is for you!”

Nigel, Timmy, Emily and I are building a tower in the kitchen. This takes some manoeuvring on my part. Nigel, you see, can stack blocks 10 or 12 high; Emily can manage about 4, and Timmy? Well, we’re not quite sure about Timmy, because in his wee mind, blocks are for knocking down, not building up — and why build your own when other people do it for you???

It’s kind of entertaining to watch. He knows he’s not supposed to knock them down. He knows he’s supposed to build his own towers. He knows that you can knock down your own towers but not anyone else’s. And he tries. He really does! But it’s so hard. He sees those carefully-constructed towers going up and his eyes start to gleam. He’ll stack one block atop the first. He’ll eye the three-block tower of his neighbour. He takes a third block — but his neighbour’s tower is now five blocks high! His block hovers over his two-block stack … he quivers a bit, leans toward the growing tower. It’s SEVEN blocks high now. SEVEN!!!

And the dam bursts. His hand with the block flashes out and his face bursts into radiant delight at the sound and the fury he’s unleashed. Part of the fury is the outrage of the child building the tower, of course. Timmy isn’t happy about that, he’s not a malicious child, but OH! The smashings and crashings! The chaos and cacophany! The booms and the bangs!!!

In order to prevent bedlam and bloodshed, my steadying presence is required. Obviously. When I need to move on and attend to other things, I will bring Timmy the Destructo-boy with me.

“Here, Mary! This is for you!” Malli has entered the kitchen from the living room, where she’s been working on puzzles. She hands me a pen and a cap.

“Oh, good for you. I’ll just put that in the pen-cup, shall I?” She nods and trots off. I help Timmy, who is starting to twitch in the direction of Nigel’s 5-block tower, to stack a second block on top of the first. Malli returns, 90 seconds later.

“I got a pretty necklace! See my pretty necklace?” She holds it out to me. It’s a pretty thing, big round chunky wooden beads stained with what look like natural dyes. It looks vaguely familiar. I guess she’s worn it before. I help her slip it over her head. Then quick grab Timmy’s skinny wrist as it flashes out. “That’s Emily’s tower, Timmy. You only knock down your tower.”

And Malli is back at my elbow. “Here Mary. You needa put these away.” I certainly do. Four pennies are potentially lethal in a daycare. I do not know WHY some parents keep letting their tots come with coinage clutched in sweaty fists. Normally I frisk them down upon entry and confiscate potentially lethal contraband. (I mean, who sends a two-year-old to daycare with coins? Or a container of toothpicks? Or a teeny purse-size bottle of nail polish remover?)

Nigel’s tower is now FOURTEEN blocks high! I think this is a personal best for the boy. It is very exciting.

“Mary, what are these?”

“Those are hockey cards, Malli.” And now the question comes to me, the question that probably should have occurred to me earlier, the question that you’ve probably been asking all along … “Where are you getting these things?”

“In da livin’room.”

“The living room? Can you show me?”

And we proceed out to the living room, where all appears normal … except for the couch-cushions, lifted up and tipped back, resting against the back of the couch. Ah.

Mystery solved.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | eeewww, Malli, Timmy | 4 Comments