I’m so pleased with my almost-two-year-old son. He is my joy, my love, and he’s been such a sweet child I want to reward him. How can I give him a little something beyond the love and care I share with him on a daily basis? Living in modern day America, well, the answer to that can only be one thing: a trip to the toy store.
I buckle him into his car seat and fifteen minutes later we’re at our great capitalistic country’s largest toy store chain. In this large two-story facility we spend the best part of an hour looking to purchase a toy that my child will get excited about and want to take home.
We’ve been through the first floor and so far nothing looks too appealing to him, mostly big kid toys there. Making our way up the escalator pleases him more than anything on the whole first floor. So we repeat that trip up and down the escalator until I can appreciate the trip no longer. Motivated by my need to move on, we’re on the second floor where much of the merchandise has been designed to bring entertainment and joy to his age group.
There are toy trains, cars, musical instruments, seemingly everything a little almost-two-year-old boy could want. He’s happy to play with the floor samples. So I ask, “Would you like that toy?” His answer is, “No.” When he moves onto the next item I ask him again, “How about if we take that home with us?” Again, his response is, “No.” Thirty minutes later we’ve looked at, played with, and considered about a dozen different toys that have been designed, manufactured, and shipped to this great source of childhood joy, or so the toy store commercials would have us believe. He understands my question well when I ask if he wants that toy and the answer continues to be a big N-O to everything he’s seen so far. Fine, he’s in that ‘no’ stage of life, but no to a toy?
On our way home we drop by my favorite little coffee shop to share a “coffee-bagel”, as he would describe it. As I tear a small piece of the sesame bagel and hand it to my son, he observes the sesame seeds that drop off the bagel and fall onto the paper plate. This is it! He’s fascinated. He taps the plate to see the sesame seeds dance on the plate. A giggle. He taps again, giggle again. Now I get into his game and we take turns with different taps and jiggles of the plate. He loves it. He puts his little index finger on a seed and moves it around like a car moving through the maze of other seeds on the plate.