A Typical Play Session with my Toddler
My 15-month-old daughter, Phoenix, is a kick in the pants. This kid has got more energy in her than I can keep up with. Of course, when she gets home from day care, she runs rampant and really wants to play, so we do.
I envision a typical play session with a different little girl going something like, “Oh, look, Cookie Monster is going into Hooper’s Store. See how he’s in there? He’s looking for cookies. Cookie starts with ‘C.’ Here comes Elmo, he’s bringing Cookie Monster some cookies. Yum!”
That’s not quite how it goes at our house. Phoenix is into Sesame Street, so we do have the Sesame Street Neighborhood Playset and figures, but she’s also into Little People, so Daddy ended up getting some figures that he could better relate to… like Batman and Joker.
We’ve also got some Little People vehicles, like the school bus. That means a play session goes more like this for us:
Travis: Hey, Phoenix, can you find Batman? Where’s Batman?
Phoenix: <holding up the Batman figure> BAPMO!
Travis: Yes, that’s Batman! Great! I’ll play Joker, because Daddy is always the bad guy anyway. Here’s Joker, he’s getting into the bus with this little kid. Do you see how Joker is in the bus? Now Joker has a hostage. Hostage starts with ‘H’ – can you say ‘hostage?’”
Phoenix: <dancing the Batman figure around on the floor> BAPMO! BAPMO!
Travis: Right, Batman has to come stop the Joker. Joker is going to drive the bus away from Batman. Vroom! Vroom!
Phoenix: <grabbing the school bus> pbbbbbbbbbtttttt! <making raspberry/spitting noises and driving the bus around>
Travis: Perfect! Now Batman’s going to try to stop Joker… but the Joker has a secret weapon. The shark! Watch out, the shark is going to get you!
At this point, I grab this giant stuffed shark we bought at Ikea for $15. It’s the best $15 I’ve ever spent. Phoenix wrestles this shark and screams and runs and then comes back to wrestle it some more. I attack her with the shark, and she screams and giggles.
Travis: Hey, Jenn, where’s the Wonder Woman figure?
Jenn: I don’t know, have you looked in the toy box?
Travis: Yeah, but I don’t see her. Phoe, where’s Wonder Woman?
Phoenix: <ignoring me, still wrestling the shark>
Travis: Well, crap. How am I supposed to set up the Hall of Justice in Hooper’s Store if I can’t find Wonder Woman?
…and so on. I’m not sure if that’s typical of everyone or if it’s just me. I’m thinking it’s just me. (Phoenix also accompanies me on occasion to the local Things From Another World comic store. Gotta start her early.)