One of the chief joys of parenthood is watching your child change. Partly this stems from realizing that we adults are now pretty much what we’re always going to be, that change for us is done, and that now when things do change, it’s unlikely to be for the better.
But with the kids, their changes are fascinating—abrupt and startling, but somehow logical. What’s Sasha’s latest big change? She’s getting attached to things.
I’m sure this is predicted by all the baby books I should’ve read, but it’s amusing nonetheless. It began with her stuffed dog—Gou-Gou—whom she hugs and cradles every night as she goes to bed. Then she added Xiao Mei Yang, the stuffed sheep, to her other hugging arm. In her waking hours, she’ll sometimes drag them around the apartment, not playing with them exactly, but holding on tightly.
Now, though, she has a new object of obsession: a toy stroller. We don’t buy her toys often at all, but she’d been pushing other things (boxes, chairs, tables) around the house so much we knew we needed to get a toddler-size pushable with wheels. Hence the stroller.
Which she adores. She’s loathe to part with it at all. She drags it everywhere, and would pull it into the bath or her crib if we let her. It’s sweet to see her so enthusiastic, but also worrying, long-term. Or maybe not worrying—it’s a challenge. Ideally, we’ll calculate her attention span just right, so that the instant she tires, fully and finally, of one toy, another will arrive to take its place in her imagination.
The trick is that “fully and finally.” We don’t want to shoot too early and wind up getting her new things constantly. But kids like and need the challenge of new objects; mastering them helps their brains develop.
If I were a scientist, I’d start charting the number of minutes per day she spends with the stroller, and track the inevitable fall-off with an eye toward predicting the next cycle of interest and boredom. Then I’d publish the chart here for all other parents to make use of.
But I’m not a scientist. I’m a writer and blogger, so I’ll just talk about it here and hope one of my readers has a solution, or at least a funny comment to make.