Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Are Little Boys Made of?

Something that really interests me is what children really think about. Every night at dinner I try to get a little sense of that not only by asking them what they did during the day but who their friends are, why they like them, what their favorite and least favorite moments were, and so forth. But when there is food to be eaten, toys to play with, and a sundry shiny things to distract them, it's hard to have much of a conversation with children of this age. It winds up sounding more like an interrogation than a dialogue.

So instead I try to take clues by observing what it is that they value (beyond the toys and books they prefer). What are some of the stand-out items that rank as their own little treasures?

Each boy has his own collection of treasures in the same relative location: on the dresser surface in their room. While individual items may change from time to time, in general the type of items remains pretty static unless an external force (generally parental-enforced clean-up) exerts influence.

For Helios, our older son, this is his current inventory of treasures:
  • An elephant humidifier (granted, this would be here whether he wanted it or not but he really likes it)
  • A box of tissue (ditto)
  • A book night-light (encased in a black zippered sleeve, upper left) that looks just like Mommy's and often is snuck under the covers
  • A Nemo flashlight to scare away the monsters and create hand shadow puppets
  • A white paper sack that was colored to look like a puppet; its name is Poppers 2 (Poppers 1 having been worn tissue thin)
  • A plastic iron-melt airplane made at after care
  • His harmonica, a gift from his paternal grandmother and grandfather just before a 10-hour flight across the country (yup, what you're thinking is exactly what we thought too)
  • A token for the Loof Carousel in Spokane, WA
  • A children's booklet of prayers, gift from school
  • A Junie B. Jones, First Grader book (his favorite series right now)
  • A Tigger wrist slap bracelet and purple airplane, both gifts from Aunt Elspeth
  • A "bug's eye" loop from after school 'Mad Science' class
  • A monkey head toy (how to describe this?) gifted from Uncle Thog
  • A Zhu Zhu pet, train, camera, and magnifying glass from Grandma Jane and Grandpa Mel
  • A Mickey Mouse playing soccer puzzle and Tic Tac Toe game, gifts from the Easter Bunny
  • Shrinky-dinks, products of a project with Daddy
  • Winnie the Pooh toys, harvested from Mommy's chest of treasures
  • A Valentine's fuzzy head sticker with heart antennae received from a kid he likes at school
  • An oyster shell given through the fence by the girl next door
Although with many similarities, Hesperos has his own array of treasures including:

  • A penguin humidifier and tissue box
  • Elmo slippers (Christmas gift from Santa two holidays ago and still fun to wear)
  • Half of a Christmas ornament that plays "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" to put him to sleep
  • His trophy from his first basketball season at the YMCA this year
  • A Thomas the Tank engine watch
  • The two current favorite books that he's working on memorizing: "Watch Out Mr. Rabbit!" and "Dr. Seuss's ABC"
  • His "explorer" hat
  • A thin version of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, retained from his Easter chocolate bunny
  • A flashlight to scare the monsters away
  • Various cars from Pixar's "Cars"
  • A Zhu Zhu pet and its car, gifted from Grandma Jane
  • A Winnie the Pooh slap it bracelet from Aunt Elspeth
  • Pieces of a game received from the Easter Bunny
  • Parts to a Lego construction vehicle, presumably stolen from his brother's closet and thus far unnoticed
  • A pine cone (behind Elmo) from a recent preschool field trip

Though the selection may change somewhat as new treasures are acquired and old ones retired, each one is appreciated separately with a story behind it...and always noticed if repositioned without prior consent.

No comments: