Yes, I am fully aware that I'm jumping the gun when it comes to Little Goober stuff -- planning all the fun we will have with him in two or three years; figuring out which toys and materials I need to collect for the activities that I have in mind; pondering the ways in which our house needs to be revamped, etc. But, try as I might, I just can't seem to help myself!
One thing I know for sure, though, is that I want our relationship to be about experiences and adventures rather than all about stuff. If I do buy things for him, it will be things that encourage us to interact with one another, not stuff that will send him off to stare at a screen on his own. And, since storage space, or lack thereof, is a major consideration both at our home and the kids', there can't be too much of it. Therefore, I've decided to limit myself to just a few categories.
1) Books, for starters. There will always be books. Most of them, I hope, can come from our wonderful little library here in town, and involve the experience of going to the library for one of their many wonderful children's activities, picking out some books to take home, and then maybe sharing lunch across the street on the shady patio of our favorite taco joint.
2) Creative play equipment which can be used on the magic anything-you-want-it-to-be shelf that I told you about a few weeks ago.
3) A dress-up box, of sorts. I'm thinking about using this wonderful three-tiered basket we brought back from Indonesia years ago. Half the fun is taking it apart and searching through each layer!
4) A few things for his Wonder Crew Doll which, yes, I went ahead and ordered, even though it's for kids three and up. Cuz, well, what if they went out of business before he was finally old enough to play with it?
One Adventure Pack I ordered to go with the doll was the one with blue and green rocket jammies and a little doll-sized sleeping bag, only to discover that it was the only Adventure Pack that did not come with anything for the child himself to wear. So, how cool was it that I stumbled across this yesterday...
in a size he can wear a couple of years from now, and for only five bucks. Coming up with a toddler-sized, blue and green striped nap mat or sleeping bag might be a bit more problematic.
5) Last, but certainly not least, there will be outdoor adventure and art supplies.
When I was looking at the different Adventure Packs available for his Crewmate, and saw the one with the hard hat and safety vest, it occurred to me that a nice little toolbox tote would be perfect for when Goober feels like turning his magic shelf into a workbench. I googled "kids tool kits" just to see what was available for a future birthday or Christmas gift, and got one of those pop-ups that said "people who ordered that also ordered this." It then showed a couple of story books involving kids and monkeys (Curious George) who were working with tools. That's when it hit me. My brilliant inspiration! It got me to thinkin', what if I could arrange it where all five of those categories I mentioned above were somehow related?
What if, whenever Goober walked through our door, the first thing he saw, right next to the tall rack holding all of Papa John's hats...
was a row of hooks something like this, within easy reach...
and holding things like a chef's hat and apron, an explorer's vest and binoculars, a superhero mask and cape, an artist's smock, and a tool man's vest and hard hat? What if he could choose whatever he felt like putting on that day, and dress his Crewmate buddy to match? If he chose the tool man clothes, we'd pull out the tool box and set it on his work bench. If he put on his chef's hat and apron, we'd get out his kitchen stuff and decide what to make together, for lunch or a snack. And there'd be books to read later, about people doing those very things, when he and his buddy were ready for some quiet time on their nap mats. Or he could draw a picture about our day, to give to Mom and Dad. How fun would that be?
But yeah, I know. I really, really need to stop obsessing about what we can do when he's older, and focus instead on what we can do now. Believe me, if there's one thing I learned with my own kiddos, it's that this time when they are small and cuddly goes by waaaaaay too fast, and it won't be long before I'll be wishin' I could turn back the clock!