It’s Not All Mary Poppins


1193457_cloudGronk sits in his high chair. He’s close enough to the table where the rest of the children sit so that he can feel part of things, and far enough away that he can’t steal their toys, eat the playdough remnants, or pull the twinkly barrettes out of Emily’s hair, along with a goodly portion of the chunk of hair it was holding.

(“Oh, Emily! It’s okay to cry, sweetie. That must’ve hurt!”)

Give the size of my dining room, however, there is no way to keep him removed from the dog’s crate. The dog’s crate, which houses the dog whenever she decides to wander in there for a snooze, a gnaw of a bone, or just a little peace.

So. Toddlers at table with the playdough, Gronk in high chair, dog in crate.

Gronk has his bottle and a few toys on his tray. His bottle holds his attention for the first few minutes, but he’s done long before the toddlers are finished with playdough. I’m not about to set him loose: the benches are pulled out from the table. For Gronk, that’s a clear invitation to indulge in some table-dancing. (Followed, inevitably, by some table-falling-off-of, some lumping-on-the-heading, and some roaring-with-outrage. But he never thinks of any of that…)

Not to worry. Gronk being the eager little Cave Man he is, after a mere half-dozen shrieks of boredom finds a new game: dropping things off his tray. A very old game, really, as any parent of a 6 – 16 26-month-old child still in a high chair can testify. (It may be old, but it never gets old!!!)

Only this game has a New and Exciting Twist! Gronk is not dropping things to the floor, oh, no! Gronk is dropping things onto the dog, relaxing in her crate beside him. Thankfully, anything Gronk gets while in a high chair is vetted for its projectile capabilities: that is, all items are soft and lightweight. The dog is not being injured. Just the reverse: Small chewable object raining down from above? Manna from heaven! WONDERFUL!

And Gronk? Watching the dog grab the toys and rip them to bits? WONDERFUL! This is a symbiotic relationship. These two are kindred spirits. It’s not so wonderful for those little soft toys, though, quickly becoming a soggy mass of multi-coloured fluff in the bottom of her crate.

I, however, am nothing if not creative. This game works in so many ways: keeps the caveman away from the playdough, allows the toddlers to continue an absorbing game, and entertains the gronkster. Only the fate of the poor stuffed toys prevents it from being perfect. Oh, that and the fact that sooner or later I will have to crawl in the dog’s crate and haul all that stuff out.

But still. Except for that one flaw, this game is not a problem, it’s a solution! How to make it a total solution?

It’s all in the choice of toy, folks. Instead of smallish toys that can fit between the wires of her crate… larger toys that won’t. True, he doesn’t get to watch the dog tear them up, but! Once dropped, he can reach over the side of his chair and PICK THEM UP AGAIN!!! So he can throw them over and over and over and ooooover again! Baby nirvana! (And I don’t have to pick them up for him! Mary nirvana!)

And sometimes???? Sometimes the dog reaches up and tries to pull them down through the bars into her crate!!!!!! This is ABSOLUTE WONDERFULNESS!!!

Twenty-four minutes, people. This game kept the boy busy for TWENTY-FOUR MINUTES.

Nirvana, indeed.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Mischief | , , , , , | 4 Comments