29 May 2012
Before Theo was born, I vaguely fancied that he would play only with hand-carved wooden Montessori toys coated in organic food-grade waxes, which I somehow always forgot to procure from Etsy. Instead, we ended up buying a whole lot of books, and despite earlier skepticism the Winkel is pretty popular these days; Captain Calamari reigns supreme at the dinner table, as Theo can happily spend whole tens of minutes at a time attempting to shove El Capitan’s considerable plush head into his little baby maw.
I was also opposed, in equally vague and general terms, to the giant hunks of gaudy, battery-powered plastic that everybody warned me would inevitably start infiltrating the house after the arrival of a baby. After the start of all the reflux craziness, though, we overnighted ourselves the Sleep Persuader — worth its weight in gold at the time, even if now Theo responds to it with eloquent looks of utter boredom whenever I strap him into it while I change clothes or put away some laundry — and we also just introduced a hand-me-down Exersaucer to the living room.
It’s the kind of thing that I never would have thought to buy. What, exactly, does an Exersaucer do, besides look gaudy, make noise if you flip the right switches, and take up heaps of perfectly good floor real estate? The answer, of course, is to blow the mind of a four-month-old who really likes to stand up with assistance, look around, and to examine toys, because it allows him to do all of those things at the same time! It also allows me to sit beside him and squeeze in a couple of rows of knitting, which is also quite interesting, in its own right, to the four-month-old set.
The absolute most fascinating toy, however, is something that he can’t quite wrap his little dimpled hands around yet. It’s oh so shiny, bright, and graphic; intriguingly smooth, cool and damp to the touch, and provides his mother with a much-needed shot of bubbly afternoon caffeine.
Best of all, it’s available in twelve-packs at your local market or corner store.