As my daughter started to grow out of her toys, I would give them to friends or donate them to charities. I only kept a few toys — ones that were of high quality or particularly popular — on the chance that we’d have another child.
Now we have a 7-year-old girl and a 16-month-old boy. With a six-year age gap, you would think that these two would never share the same toys. And yet, when I recently dug out Stella’s old Word Whammer and put it on the fridge, both grappled to get to it first.
This surprised me a bit since my son is too young developmentally to really “get” the word-making component and my daughter already has the vocab of a 60-year-old university prof, so I didn’t figure that the three-letter word combos would interest her. But funny enough, both are easily entertained for long stretches of time with this one toy.
When my son plays with it, he goes directly to the button that makes music. As soon as the music starts playing, he moves his little diapered bum side to side and looks around to see if anyone is going to join him in this dance. It is mighty adorable, I tell you. I cannot resist his look of anticipation and I always do a little dancing jig to please him. This, despite him pressing that music button over and over again. He just doesn’t tire of this.
So, this is what the fridge looks like when my son has been playing with the toy.
And with just one glance, I can tell when my daughter has been playing with the same toy.
It’s not that making the word *gasp* pee is that amusing for her. What is amusing to no end is that when she creates this word, the toy says: “P. E.E. — spells pee.” But the real kicker is that it says in a cheerful and congratulatory voice, “GREAT WORD!” She will make the toy do this over and over again and laugh hysterically. Every. Single. Time. That awesome laugh where you can barely breathe? That laugh.
Naturally, she has expanded this to include “poo” and “bum” and even “but” (for “butt”). All “GREAT WORDS!” And like her brother, she doesn’t tire of this and will look up at me to see if I’m joining along with her. For the first couple of times — sure — I laughed along. But unlike like the baby dance, I do tire of it. Somehow, it’s just not as cute. I’m not sure why.
Have your older children ever found “innovative” ways of playing with the baby’s toys?