Back!

These days, our son has a new favorite word: back, pronouced “ba” and meaning “you need to put ______ back where it belongs”, whether it’s the lid on the jar of milk or peanut butter in the morning (he won’t go back to eating unless you fix the problem), the teddy bear on its spot on the shelf or the bike on the deck. If I didn’t know better, I would label him obsessive-compulsive, but I have read enough about toddlers to know that it’s totally normal behaviour. Typical toddlers like their routine. Plus, they are looking for ways to assert their newly found independence and control their environment, yet they cannot control much (since you, as the parent, are normally still stronger and wiser than them), so they fight hard for the things they can control, like making you put things back where they should be (or where they figure they should be). It does, however, make for some funny circumstances.

Yesterday, Zak took him to playtime. For those who have never raised a baby in Vancouver, let me explain the concept of playtime: community centers here open their gym several times a week so that instead of going crazy in the confines of their living-room, parents can take their preschoolers or toddlers out of the house to a place where they can run and play (and scream) safely, with other kids. There are all kinds of toys that you could not afford and/or fit in your living room: walkers, ride-on toys, slides, small basketball hoop, mini-kitchen, bouncy castle, etc. It’s a great place to socialize… for the kids, although unfortunately it seems like nannies take that time to socialize, too, while the kids they should be watching are terrorizing the gym. Anyway, the cost is minimal and you can buy a card worth 10 visits for even cheaper, which makes it a wonderful activity, especially when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Our boy is used to the process, so Zak gives him his card and he goes straight to the lady in charge to get his card (and his hand) stamped. The lady obliges, then our boy goes “Ba”, pointing at the stamp. The lady is used to baby talk, so she pretends to understand something and says “Ok, I’ll stamp your other hand”. At which point Zak has to butt in: “Actually, he’s asking you to put the lid back on your stamp…”

The lady likes our son, so she was happy to oblige (after stamping his other hand).  But I wonder how often she gets that request!

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