I was shopping at the drug store after Christmas, checking out their post-holiday clearance section. Truth be told, I was scouting the sales on candy. After finding a good deal on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I was pleased to find another bargain: a box of 40 cars suitable for age 3 and up. By combining the 50% off with a coupon, I ended up getting the cars for free. Score one for Mommy!
When I brought home the candy and cars that evening, Peter wanted to open up the box immediately. Now, Philip has no shortage of toys, so I convinced Peter it was a better idea to set this box aside for a rainy (or snowy) day.
This evening, Peter decided he and Philip had delayed gratification long enough. Since frigid temperatures had prevented us from playing outside, it did seem that our snowy day had arrived. Peter gave him the unopened box, and Philip played with this for at least 10 minutes.
After Peter asked me, “Did you open it yet?” for about the zillionth time, I did open it. Philip stood beside the dining room table to observe as I battled hidden pieces of tape. Once I had conquered these, I laid the plastic container that held the cars on the table. Philip began removing them from the box and arranging them on the table.
After Philip had taken out all forty cars, he straightened them out on the table. He jumped up and down several times and made many happy sounds. He would touch one or two, and then jump with delight some more. Peter took one car and rolled it on the floor. Philip snatched it up and put it back in its place. Peter tried again with the same result. He decided to leave Philip to it.
Eventually, Philip encircled the cars with his arms. I knew what would happen next: in one swoop, the cars were gathered up in a big pile and swept on to the floor.
Philip then began a new pattern of play. First, he lined the cars up bumper to bumper. By the time I had grabbed the camera, he had repeated the encircle and scatter maneuver. Next, he lined up the cars side by side.
He seemed to prefer lining them up this way since it took up less space. But each time he had all the cars neatly aligned, he would scatter them so he could repeat the process.
The line-up/scatter ritual must have lasted about twenty minutes. He wasn’t throwing the cars, breaking anything or crying, so I relaxed and watched a DVD with Peter. Finally, Philip altered the pattern slightly by taking some of the cars from the dining room floor over to the window sill to line up.
(Here’s an aside about this picture. Monday’s post was about how we bought and installed curtains on the windows shown in this picture. You will noticed that the center window has no curtains. That’s because, on Tuesday, Philip pulled them down.)
He lined them up on the sill a few times, and then knocked them to the floor. By now, it was time for a bath. I got the empty box, and Peter and I picked up the ones left on the dining room floor. But when I went over to Philip, I began to sing the clean-up song that they use at school. Miraculously enough, he began to put the cars in the box. Of course, once they were all in, he want to reach in and fling them out. He cried for a moment when I prevented this, but I think that was just for show. He decided to grab some milk instead, parched from all his toy car play.