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Toys and Beyond

Toys. What kid doesn’t like toys, these plastic things that most of the time look kind of cheap, but make our children so happy while giving them a chance to learn, understand, own? I get it. I remember my mother looking for places in our not-so-big apartment to store my toys, all of which, of course, I wanted to keep. Now, I am in the same position. I keep coming up with the ideas about how to preserve my sanity while allowing Andrei to build his world. So I keep moving Andrei’s stuff from this box to that box, from downstairs to upstairs, from upstairs to downstairs.

And as much as I respect Andrei’s love of toys, I respect even more  his budding imagination that allows him to see beauty and a function so different from the intended one in so many non-toy objects. Needless to say, dealing with his tendency to “play” with so many non-toys that I actually frequently need, makes my life even more challenging, our house messier, and me less sane than the abundance of toys does.

But at the same time, there is always that magic moment, when I am maybe more open or simply in a really good, playful mood, when I forget that this object that Andrei is holding is something I will need  just a little later when it will be completely impossible for me to find it, but in that magic moment when I witness Andrei’s genuine admiration of an otherwise very boring object, I decide to simply forget the boring reality and follow Andrei…

* Syringe is such a perfect flute, specially designed for the little hands, just the right size.

* My glasses as well. Maybe a flute, or a horn, or even better, a trombone.

* Mop, with that yellow squashy head and a long, lean body, is so exciting to carry around. Our mop went on multiple car rides with us.

* Broom – have you ever taken a walk dragging a broom behind you (and didn’t feel like a witch)? I guess you could say the broom is your friend and you are taking her for a walk.

* Potato masher  – how about it being a drumstick?

* Garlic mincer – maybe a phone, or an animal’s mouth, or something else that Andrei chose not to tell me.

* Can opener, a delightful flute or harmonica.

* Mixer beaters – marvelous drumsticks.

* Clippers – such a great flip phone.

* Tongs – scissors, I assume. The ability to “cut” like with scissors, which are not within his reach yet.

* Drill bit – a knife, of course, couldn’t you guess?

* Coins are usually tokens.

* Small personal fan – the attraction has never been articulated to me.

* Blow-dryer – the same, although usually treated as an interestingly shaped pull toy.

* Broken memory card – a phone (Hi, Steve, Sounds good. I don’t think so. Bye-bye.)

* My purses – well, they usually remain that -purses, dragged around, filled with junk of all kinds (ball, pacifiers, maybe a stolen paperclip or two).

* Pull-through rolling suitcase – a pull toy like no other.

* Anything from my desk: white-out roll, post-it notes, stapler – again, unknown attraction.

So can I really turn around and say that the world my son is creating with his imagination and his passing attachments to all these practical, but boring objects, is not delightful…and infectious? No, I can’t, because so many times, later, much later, I find myself in the midst of writing a pretty realistic paragraph, and then suddenly, I have an Andrei-esque moment, and my until-then pretty mainstream character, falls in love with … a spoon, for example. He holds it, he looks at it, he admires it thinking that that must be the most beautiful, most shiny, most well-designed spoon in the world, and that new exiting world I suddenly created in my story delights me, makes me feel like I am living a dream, or my life has just turned into a fairy-tale…and I run to my son and embrace him, grateful, so grateful for the fact that I am a human and that I gave rise to another human. Who cares that two hours later I will spend thirty minutes looking for the mixer beaters so I can finish making my squash soup?

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