Friday, April 3, 2009

Daddy Guest Post

Mary asked me told me last week that I would be doing a guest post for the blog. Ever since, I have been wondering what the heck to write about. Then, the other night, while giving the Weeble her bath,it hit me. The Weeble was completely surrounded by wall-to-wall plastic toys floating around her (while waiting for her bath to cool down enough to get in, she spent a few minutes taking every toy she could find and then tossed each into the tub). For a moment, my thoughts drifted to Star Wars, since the Weeble in her bath resembled Skywalker & company stuck in the Death Star’s trash compactor.

I looked around. Outside of the bathtub were the rest of the toys that didn’t make it in. I wondered, does she actually enjoy all of this mess? She giggled as she collected all of the dolphins from her Water Symphony Bath Toy, trying to hold as many in her hands at one time as possible. Clearly, the answer was yes. At that moment, I had an epiphany regarding the laws of nature as they relate to toys owned by toddlers. I thought back to a conversation I had with my wife over the phone earlier that day:

“What’s the Weeble doing?”

“She’s in the living room yelling ‘NO NO NO’ while she’s grabbing all the books off of the shelf and tossing them onto the floor.”

Then I thought back to another time, when I was cleaning up the living room while the Weeble was playing with her stacking blocks. One by one I picked up the various toys and put them in the basket, as she watched me out of the corner of her eye. As soon as I put the basket on the shelf, she toddled over with a smile, and dumped its contents onto the ground. After glancing, for a moment, at the disorderly pile of little people, finger puppets and forgotten happy meal toys freshly laying in a pile on the floor, she returned to other pursuits.

So my conclusion is that the Weeble doesn’t dump the toys out because she’s looking for something in particular. She’s not even necessarily looking for something to play with. At times, she’s actually making life harder on herself (it would have been a lot easier to find all of the dolphins in the bathtub without the unrelated foam bath letters, cups and squirt toys in the way). No, none of that matters to her. Something else is going on here, and I think I’ve figured it out.

Like Hydrogen, Oxygen, or any other gas, toys owned by toddlers are governed by the following characteristic: they will diffuse readily, in order to spread themselves apart within any container. Our attempts to organize and isolate the toys to a limited area are a violation of this natural law. The Weeble is simply setting things right.

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