What’s the Plan?

September 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Ruda Tovar

I stood in my son’s doorway looking into his room and surveyed the landscape. All the usual suspects were present (cars, LEGOs, blocks, animal figures, crayons, some magnetic letters, etc.), and they appeared to have gotten into a fight with an industrious four year old.  To the untrained (non-parental) eye, this would seem like more than a fight, maybe a battle, maybe a war, maybe an epic personal vendetta against the collective toy culture.  One could easily guess that this “encounter” lasted quite some time, perhaps hours, perhaps multiple days, well again, one with an untrained eye.

Twelve minutes. That’s how long it took my four-year-old to locate all his toys that were stored, get them out, play with them, and then decide to launch an assault that could challenge our finest military strategists. Twelve minutes and then he was onto something else, although I’m not sure what that was because all of his possessions lay in front of me gasping for air. I was used to this. He came, he saw, he conquered, and he did it all in record time, every time.

I left the room alone and sat back down to continue my reading. After about 50 pages, I realized I hadn’t seen the person responsible for unleashing his fury on the gang of unassuming inanimate objects. I soon found my son sitting on the kitchen floor with the sole surviving crayon of his room and an empty egg carton. He had been there at least a half hour (probably longer), fabulously occupied with circling the inside of the egg carton with his crayon. How did this happen?

As I hovered over my son, I couldn’t help but think about the semi-huge amount of toys he has at his disposal, and how the makers of these toys spend time and money trying to figure out what kids like. Well, there you have it: This kid likes two objects with no real connection picked at random. “Random,” that actually describes a lot of decisions made by our shorter comrades. Then again, it’s only random to us, the adults. We grew up, we forgot what it was like to think like a kid, and when we remember, it’s never a convenient time (you try making weird sounds whilst driving only to realize you’ve called somebody on accident). After all, this is the same kid who single-handedly wiped out an entire ecosystem of toys in 12 minutes, and yet now is content to color an egg carton for quadruple that amount of time.

I’m not saying that kids are capable of expressing it in an understandable manner, and I’m definitely not saying that it would make sense to us if they could, but these little mortals have a plan. Now if only I could figure out what it is…


One Comment on "What’s the Plan?"

  1. Judi on Tue, 27th Sep 2011 2:28 am 

    Well said! I also remember growing up in a family of 8 children and every gift giving event toys would be played with for not much longer than it took to open such gifts. On the other hand on rainy days mudpies would be on the menu and provide hours of enjoyment creating them. And the occasional refridgerator box our father brought home from work gave us endless entertainment value, as we made forts and played house. My thoughts on this matter is; that the toys of today don’t challenge or develop creative skills but only sparkle and light up with all the bells and whistles only appealing to and capture children’s attention for a short time and end up shortening our children’s attention span in the longrun. So I guess the lesson is; take your kids outside to play and eat more eggs to give them plenty of cartons with which to create.

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