I will fully admit that I am kinda queer when it comes to what I expose the Munch to. I am not trying to be one of those mom’s that hands out raisins on Halloween… but the likely hood that she will be trying to trade her raw almonds for potato chips in a few years is pretty high. My anal retentive desire for her to be a woodland creature of the forest does not end with food. I want her to be a nymph of nature. Entertained by moss and butterflies. I want her to contemplate what bark is made of, while twirling together a daisy crown.
So needless to say, she doesn’t have a lot of toys beyond a wooden spoon and a few stuffed animals.
One day, I went to visit my cousin and a friend for a mommy play date. Oh. Right. We brought the babies too… Once at my cousin’s house, she had this baby fun house contraption that put my hanging dental floss in front of her face to shame.
Imagine a mat that Bozo the Clown had diarrhead over, cascading it with color and texture. Then, there were these styrofoam poles which extended across the mat, flowered with different hanging toys that would make an apple sigh from feelings of inadequacy. The crescendo of this organized chaos was every time the baby would kick one of these poles, or pull one of these toys, music would play! In all my “earth mother” snobbery I had to admit that this Target toy was infused with so much potential excitement I almost shit my pants.
So I positioned The Munch to play in this fantasy funhouse and needless to say she had the best damn time. It was like Pee Wee’s Playhouse on crack there was so much going on, and she was loving every minute of it. In all my effort to rationalize why she should be as equally entertained by the movement of clouds, her glee was undeniable.
What do I do about this conundrum? I want her to be happy and have joy in her in life, but at the same time I want her to find stimulus in the beauty of nature. Maybe it is not an all or nothing thing? Maybe if I am too extreme, I will drive her to be a materialistic maniac! So what did I do? On my way home, I went into Target, and got her a similar toy. And then when I got home, I made her a mobile with my own hands from things I found outside… I made little shapes from twigs like a moon, a sun, and a star that I realized later could easily poke her eyes out, but looked cute. The point is that she had both toys to choose from… and you know what? After a week she was bored with both of them. Go figure.