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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Are Your Kids "INTO"?? How can you tell?

My baby is four.



His new obsession: flashlights.  He received at least five for his birthday, and he loves every one of them.  They range from practical (solar charged!), to cute (pig! dog!) to ultra-convenient------> 

So it has this plan-ahead-and-buy-Christmas-gifts-in-July-at-garage-sales Mom pondering ... what are my kinds "into" this year?

For the last two years, I would have told you that Manatee was into Polly Pockets.  Only, that wouldn't be true.  It was MOMMY who bought them, bought more of them, bought them new clothes, always wanted them as a kid ... and then grew up to vacuum up their shoes.  My daughter, however, is basically disinterested.  A month ago I confiscated Polly and friends in response to the state of her room, but save the initial freak-out, she hasn't mentioned them since.  She's not "into" dolls, really -- doesn't carry them around or change their clothes.  It intrigues me: all of her creatures and little people are mute.  When I was six my dolls were getting married, going on adventures, and holding city council meetings where they all had a vote.  Hers lie about, "lifeless."

She's into books.  Truly, I could probably remove all else and she would be content.  It's hard to send out gift suggestions to family, though; which Magic Tree House book HASN'T she read? I have no idea.  Never thought to keep a "have read" log.  Then again, it's probably best we don't OWN all the books on the planet.

So my always-try-to-be-prepared brain was sent into a tizzy when I realized I had just distributed birthday party invitations to Monkey's classmates.... and it's likely that dutiful mommies will call soon, asking the dreaded "What is he into" question.  

"Uh, we could really use ... batteries.  Yep, batteries, carabiners and sticks.  Heck, dig through your junk drawer, you should be all set."

Some boys his age, I'm told, are into Star Wars or trains.  He wouldn't know a light saber if it zzhhhhhh'd his arm off, and he mostly ignores his train table.  He'll "play cars," but that mostly involves the cars embroiled in some sort of conversation: 

"Hey, big truck? Do you want to go see Sally? She's the YELLOW car.  Can you get there? Do you need a LADDER (grabs stick)?  We can go to her HOUSE and see what she has to EAT. [insert boy-making-motor-sounds noise here]"

We can always find something fun at the local toy store ... but how kosher is it to ask for gift cards?

How about you?  What are your kids into?
Fun Fact: The one-ounce brown bat, which is most common in North America, is capable of eating five hundred insects an HOUR during its nighttime feeding.  (moral: be kind to bats!)