Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons in simplicity

The adage that one learns more as a parent than you teach your children is certainly true.

Especially in the early stages of parenthood when one simply has no fucking idea what you are doing. It seems like I am learning this everyday.

It is easy to overcompensate for the lack of intuition, the bewilderment and the sheer exhaustion by doling out your wallet at every book, gadget and baby related gimmick you come across that promises a world of sleepy and well feeding cherub babies.

I certainly feel like I would do anything for my baby's well being and development. A $200 play mat that may increase his chances of crawling by two days earlier? Sure, do you take credit card?

And of course, numero uno is guilty of spending way too muchos dinero on useless, usually bright coloured plastic junk that the real boss in this household quickly examines with his podgy newly fine tuned fingers and throws it into the pile labelled "My Mother is a Sucker".

What really captures my little one's attention is as simple as a box. A box previously holding a carton of beer, no less. He can play with this for hours on end whilst his Fisher Price toys watch jealously from the sidelines. I guess I get it. It makes different noises depending on whether he taps it, pats it or strokes it. It changes shape at the slightest touch with all the flaps and turning it upside down. He can sit in it or outside it. He can push it or pull it. And his smart little brain seems to know exactly which toys are meant for him and therefore which items around the house he can proceed to ignore.

He also quite fancies my salad bowl. The small one, the big one - loves it. In fact, the box and and the  salad bowl are the only two items I have seen him put in the mammoth effort of rolling onto his tummy for. The rest of the time he lies bored on his playmat like an upturned cockroach yelling for attention.

And so kids, save your money. There is nothing more interesting to babies it seems than mundane stuff. The expensive bells and whistles toys stand like ugly behemoths in our living room, trying hard to be loved but doing no more than polluting the place with its garish plastic colours and loud americano sing song nursery rhymes.

It is a bit of a testament to our scramble for all style of first time parenting. I throw everything I got at this little boy, but all he wants is to touch a box.

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