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Thursday, March 12, 2009  

Rock, His World

M. Edium doesn't like to leave the house without something to take with him. He claims that it's because he needs something to play with in the car, but I suspect it's a security thing. Something to remind him of home. It's been going on since he was two and spending weekdays at the daycare lady's house. When he started Montessori last year, he used to bring something to school every day too, but we've managed to convince him that his lunch bag counts. Well, us and the shouts of "It's not show-and-tell day!" from his classmates almost every non-Wednesday.

When he and I went for our Sunday errands this week, it was a little red lava rock from our yard. He was thinking about moons and meteors that day, and while I did the shopping, he happily held the little rock up in front of his face as he walked along beside the cart, making whooshing noises and imagining it was zooming through space on a collision course with some celestial body or other. It kept him happy, and it wasn't like a cashier was going to try to ring it up when we checked out.

In the meat aisle, I began to think about how this looked. Here was an unkempt dad with an adorable little four-year-old child, who was happily playing with a rock. Completely fascinated by it, in fact. Any observer would have assumed it was his only toy in the world. A rock. A. Rock.

I wouldn't have felt so bad if I hadn't just threatened to take it away from him for kicking it across the floor in the previous aisle. What the fuck kind of father only gives his child a rock to play with, and then might not even let him keep it?

Fortunately, he had earned a reward that morning, by spelling and reading a slew of short words using little cards I'd made for him with letters written on them. So later, when he asked for one of those rubber bouncy-balls that sit in a big bin and sell for $1.59, I was happy to oblige. "Look, son, it's your first real toy! From a store!" How exciting to have a ball to go with his rock. Must have been like Christmas morning. He picked the green one. The color of money, just to show off his affluence.

It's somewhere in the house right now, but I'm net sure exactly where. Too many toys cluttering the place up, you know.

posted by M. Giant 9:10 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

I think any other parent get that Kids Are Weird, really. It's like that thing that makes them walk right by the big giant mega-toy and spend countless hours playing in the box for said mega-toy.

Mine STILL loves rocks, and she's 8. A couple of years ago we took her to Rock City in Tennessee, and you would think we had taken her to Disneyworld.

By Blogger Jen, at March 13, 2009 at 3:37 AM  

A couple of years ago, I teasingly threatened to get my then 6-year-old daughter a box of rocks for Christmas. Her reply? "That's what I like."

I laughed for the next five minutes. I should have guessed - this is the kid whose pockets are filled with rocks from spring to fall.

By Anonymous Patty D., at March 13, 2009 at 6:44 AM  

A friend of mine was complaining recently that since she's had her baby 5 months ago, her house is always so cluttered with baby things. I laughed at her and told her to wait until the kid gets old enough to bring home rocks, leaves, shells.... not to mention the endless stream of crafts made out of popsicle sticks and dried pasta stuck on paper so it can't even be easily sneaked into recycling. My 6 year old's jacket weighs about 10 lbs from all the rocks she keeps in her pockets since the shelf in her room is full.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

I'm 26 and I still love rocks. I stole some from the Grand Canyon a few years ago and they're sitting on top of the fireplace in the living room. Coincidentally, they're the only things my nephews (ages 3 & 2) want to play with when they come over.

By Anonymous Steph, at March 14, 2009 at 6:21 PM  

My 4 year old is always collecting rocks, too. Unfortunately, she prefers that they take up residence in my truck... by the end of the not-snowy season (heh, MN), they're falling out of the truck every time I open her door.

By Anonymous Ginger, at March 18, 2009 at 8:15 PM  

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