Why boxes are handy for babies

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While out at lunch a few weeks ago, roomie and I overheard some city workers discussing their experiences with parenting. My favorite quote of theirs from that day was, "I told my wife: 'You can spend all kinds of money and buy her the most expensive toys. Or you can put rocks in a bottle and give it to her to play with. She won't know the difference!' " It occurred to me that the guy at the next table was right. (Turns out his little girl was born the same month as my nephew, and so 105053-597094-thumbnail.jpgdevelopmentally they're on the same track. I listened in for a while, see.) Mr. Pie is prone to enjoying most things he's handed. But it seems he's particularly fond of the common household items.

Although I haven't yet put rocks in a bottle for him, (give me time,) I've certainly observed his endless enjoyment of other found objects. He enjoys paper towel rolls, the little cardboard sleeves for keeping your hands from burning when you hold your to-go coffee, and the newest favorite: the cardboard box - it's just his size. Here are just a few of the reasons I've found it's so convenient that he loves his new him-sized box:

  • He can beat on it like a drum.
  • He gets to work on expanding his coordination skills trying to manage the flaps. Do they want to be in? Can they stay out? So many choices!
  • Teething babies need stuff to chew on. That folded down edge when the flaps are inside? Oh yea: feels so good on his little gums.
  • 105053-597097-thumbnail.jpgHe just laughs so hard when you put him in it.
  • And since he stays in there for a while, especially when you top him off with extra toys to keep him company, you can take a potty break without worrying he's going to climb the stairs while you're away. ('Cause yesterday he conquered that new challenge. Stairs...not a problem anymore!)
  • Or make yourself some lunch...or fold a small load of laundry...or make him a fresh bottle. Really the possibilities seem endless. As long as you're not too long. Eventually he's comin' out of there!
Next week I'm thinking I should make him his own set of my car keys, 'cause - y'know - he'll be driving himself around pretty soon.