My daughter has lots of stuff. Wooden blocks, toy guitars, stuffed animals and much, much more. She also has her All Star Team. These are the toys that are absolutely crucial to her daily survival. They must always be within sight or arm’s reach or else risk the ground opening up and releasing the bloodthirsty denizens of Hell.
But without fail, and regardless of the toys involved, she must always be carrying as many of them as possible at once. And this causes lots of headaches for Dad.
Let me tell you one thing about 2-year-olds: they’re small.
Let me tell you another thing about 2-year-olds: their arms and hands are even smaller.
Now imagine this small child with even smaller appendages carrying:
- A Pooh bear larger than a Thanksgiving turkey,
- A stuffed puppy the size of an actual puppy,
- Another Pooh bear half the size of the other,
- A two-pound book of sing-a-long songs and…
- The members of the All Star Team all at once.
Think about that. I would have difficulty carrying that much stuff. But she does it! Or tries at least. Just yesterday she was trying to carry those very items while climbing onto the couch so as to read that book with all of her fluffy friends. Of course it was easier imagined than done as she promptly dropped the mid-size Pooh. “Oh no!” she said as she turned back to grab him. Now, bending over to pick something up while carrying a giant Pooh, a puppy, a heavy book, and the All Star Team isn’t easy. So naturally while reclaiming mid-size Pooh, she dropped giant Pooh.
I helped her, of course, but I must admit this tendency of hers can be pretty amusing. It’s cute seeing a small child eclipsed by a precariously bound together collection of toys. But at times it can also be a problem, such as when we go on the road.
Now typically these excursions only involve Teddy and Monkey, the illustrious members of the All Star Team. But instead of other toys, snacks and bottles take their place on the road. Bottles can be heavy, and snacks—like raisins—can end up all over the place. Nevertheless, my little girl feels the same need to hold all of them at once.
Yesterday I took the kiddo into the city to meet up with my wife. It was a cold day and very windy. I had her bundled up in a big poofy coat and hat to start. On top of that she had Teddy, Monkey, a bag of pretzels, a bottle of juice, and something I forgot to mention earlier that is absolutely crucial: her binky. That’s a lot of stuff for anyone to deal with, but upon arriving in the city and taking her out of the car, she insisted on taking on the challenge.
The frigid wind started blasting us immediately. My daughter began to shriek and instead of walking hand in hand, I scooped her up to get her inside as fast as possible. Her shrieks were then replaced with the bloodcurdling cry of “Monkey! Monkey!” I stop, look back, and sure enough, there was Monkey lying on the sidewalk like so much strewn garbage. I scampered back and bent down to get Monkey. Upon scooping him back up I heard the pitter patter of small objects hitting the sidewalk. The pretzels had fallen out of her small baggie onto the ground. I couldn’t give her the fallen pretzels so I proceeded along, thereby subjecting myself to her not-to-be-scoffed-at wrath. Her protests were so great that a third object fell out of her mouth to the ground: her precious binky. “Oh no!”
Oh no indeed.
We eventually made it inside, and I was able to obtain a bag of oyster crackers to replace the lost pretzels. The binky was back safe and sound in her mouth and order had been restored, at least for the moment. But yesterday’s example is not an isolated one. It happens all the time. Whether she is climbing up into my lap, going down for a nap, sitting and reading books with me, etc., she has this need to have as many friends and toys with her as possible, with Teddy and Monkey leading the way. It’s frustrating and cute—an interesting combination.
I’m guessing this need of hers is strongly tied to her age and the “’Mine!’ Phase” that she’s in right now. As far as she’s concerned, everything in the house, car, other houses, public buildings, and the Great Outdoors is hers. They’re not, of course, but she sure tries to convince you otherwise. As she gets older I’m sure this tendency of hers will dissipate though. She’ll no longer feel the same compulsion to envelop herself in her favorite toys. Plus her arms will get longer and her arms will get bigger, so there’s that! In the meantime, however, it’s something that’s constantly in the back of my mind. No matter what activity we have planned—whether inside the safe confines of the house or out and about—I must plan accordingly. I must always plan accordingly.
Or else face the wrath of a youngster scorned.