11/52 – Play
Toddlers are particular creatures. What’s yours is theirs, and what is theirs is theirs. They can’t be placated by something similar. They can smell a knock off a mile away. They want exactly what you have, and their approximation is one of exactness – they want the very thing you have in your hand.
The big kids have earphones to listen to their music. With big ear muffs and a head band, it’s not exactly an object they can play with discretely.
For months, the Doodle was obsessed with their headphones. Any time she found headphones lying around, or if they were on someone’s head, she’d have to have them. The teenagers couldn’t withstand the powers of the toddler plea, or the mommies’ demands to fork over the headphones to get the toddler to quit whining, and would eventually have to share (aka give) their headphones to the Doodle.
The thing about early headphone use is that the Doodle prided herself in getting the object. She never quite grasped the utility of headphones. She didn’t make the connection that sound is supposed to come out of them. That the headphones had to be connected to some electronic in order to work. That the true magic of headphones is that they make music. Which is a good thing, because I think we would have had to deal with teenage sized temper tantrums if we requested they hand over their iPods to a toddler.
One day shortly after Christmas, Bella came back from the mall having purchased the Doodle headphones of her very own. It was an incredibly sweet and thoughtful big sister gesture. We were sort of taken aback because Bella has never really been that thoughtful with her gift giving – she’s always very generous, but will typically buy something she would like and give it to you, instead of gifting you something you would like.
We were touched, and the Doodle was pleased with her very own headphones for about 10 seconds. I think Bella missed the memo above about toddler object lust. The Doodle quickly discarded her own headphones and went back to appropriating the big kids’ headphones.
In the past month or so, the Doodle has been obsessed with plugging in one electronic to another. She now gets that if you connect two electronic things, something magical happens. And this is the kind of play that happens when you plug the Doodle’s very own headphones into Mommy’s old iPod. That’s the more modern toddler object fixation – plugging things in trumps the origin of the object she covets because doing an adult thing is more exciting that playing with adult things.
We listened to music for about 10 minutes, and then spent another 30 minutes plugging the headphones in to the iPod over and over and over again.
Here’s a few other photos of the Doodle playing with her new toy –