I’ve been wondering why I write so much about my daughter and so little about my son. The former is 5-going-on-15 and the latter – still my big baby – is approaching 3 years old. To redress the imbalance, here is the story of one boy’s obsession with Play-Doh, Cookie Monster and YouTube.
I am preoccupied with the idiosyncrasies of my daughter. Perhaps it is because she is older than my son and is blossoming (nay, erupting) into an independent being that makes her so fascinating. I’m not sure I’d go as far to say that I understand her – some days I don’t understand my her at all. She’s 5 years old – I shouldn’t expect to. As a female I am sensitive to what she might come up against in life and topics involving women now make me rantier than ever before. My daughter thus provides plenty of writing inspiration, directly and indirectly.
When it comes to my son I seem to have missed (or at least underestimated) his power to make me to write. Whilst worrying about the surge of pink in the house, I’ve taken my eye off the ball and this baby boy of mine has grown into a fully functioning, determined and funny little man. He has the randomness typical of all toddlers, but, when he wants to, he has the focus of a laser beam – ie, he gets inexplicably obsessed with unusual things.
Nothing demonstrates this more than his current obsession with watching YouTube videos about Play-Doh. Somehow he stumbled across a review of a Cookie Monster set and his passion has known no bounds since. I suspect that a good proportion of the 7 million plus views this particular video has had can be traced back to our house. There is something wonderful about his fascination with something so simple: a blue plastic monster being fed Play-Doh fruit and vegetables. Nothing more, nothing less. Over and over and over again.
In the last few days his YouTube obsession has manifested itself in the real world. (Let it not be said that an addiction to technology stops children from engaging in ‘proper’ play.) Ten empty tubs of Play-Doh later and we have a whole box full of Cookie Monster’s favourite foodstuffs. I’ve had to hide the remaining tubs of Play-Doh lest they lose their virginity to the swirling, sticky mass that is Cookie Monster’s lunch.
Here is the thought process of a 2-year-old boy in pictures. Only three pictures. He’s a simple beast. (I suggest you look away if you can’t cope with more than one colour of Play-Doh mixed together.)
In my preoccupation with the complexity of a 5-year-old girl making her way in the world, I’d forgotten that simplicity is just as wonderful.
Next time: The one where my son watches a video (13m 14secs) on loop of someone opening 100 Kinder eggs. No, really.