Friday, 4 February 2011

Batteries not included? Thank Goodness!

The boy is your typical toddler, busy, on the go, constantly in motion, and quite noisy! He chatters away all day, sometimes I get treated to songs (our current favourite, even though it's now February, is Jingle Bells, repeated ad nauseum), or quotes from some of his favourite books. Mix in the music that we often have playing in the house (think Franz Ferdinand, Fratellis or Kraftwerk instead of Raffi, Sharon, Lois & Bram, or Sesame Street). All of this adds to the volume level in our house.

Then it gets worse. How you ask? The boy has a number of toys that talk, sing, or make noise. He has Alphie the Robot that he loves, the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics, Melissa & Doug sound puzzles (we currently love the fire truck), a mini 'electric guitar' and more. Taken individually, they are all great, and I don't have a problem with them, barring days I have a headache of course. The problem is, quite often the boy likes to have them all going at once! He'll be playing with Alphie, turn around, put a letter in the Fridge Phonics, then take a piece out of the puzzle and put it back to get the Fire Engine to go, and then press the buttons on his guitar to hear a song. All of this while expecting to carry on a conversation with me!

His ability to multi-task aside, this makes for a very loud house. He doesn't seem to have a problem with it, and doesn't actually raise his voice to be heard over things, he just keeps repeating anything he's saying until I answer. And admittedly, the cacophony of noise only lasts for a few minutes at a time. The Fire Truck only goes on for a few seconds, and once Fridge Phonics has sung the letter song, and recited the alphabet once or twice, he leaves it alone and goes back to whatever else he was working on.

What this does mean is that when we get new toys, if they require batteries, but the batteries don't change how they work (a Thomas Train that makes noise for example), they don't have batteries put in right away! He's not old enough to have figured it out yet, so we can still practise this deception and get away with it. He know about replacing batteries though, so when toys that already make noise die, he brings them to me so that I can change the batteries for him. But he does have 'quiet' toys too, so when it all gets too loud, we just switch focus and play with something else.

Some days this works, and others, not so much. Either way, he's happy and content, and really, that is the most important thing. I'd rather have the house be noisy from toys and music than temper tantrums. Plus, he's learning something from everything, and that makes it worthwhile. At least that's the mantra I say to myself every time I hear the Leap Frog voice singing “every letter makes a sound, S says ssss.”  

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