Beyond Jennifer and Jason: A Kid Tip

The Boo and I have been spending A LOT of time together lately, meaning we are also having A LOT of conversations.   Like most of his peers, Boo is starting to figure out that there is a whole big world out there and there are questions he can ask about every aspect of that whole big world. 

To Boo, things are as alive as people – they feel, have personalities, and their basic needs must be met.  He does not yet discriminate amongst nouns.  Neither marketing nor the media help much with clarifying this.  Trains and cars have more personality than half of the people whom I know.   Bugs aspire towards loftier goals than three-quarters of the people whom I know.  A Velveteen Rabbit loves truer than 97% of the world’s population.  Monkeys, well, monkeys do a heck of a lot more than eat bananas and throw their poo.   It’s all very real to Boo.

Boo wants to know more about these things, particularly the ones that don’t come with a back story.  I mean, we know all (and I mean ALL) about Thomas the Tank Engine, but what’s up with the Brio circus cars?  What are their names?  Do they share?  Work well with others?   Um, I make up a lot of junk. 

Sadly, I only know so much junk.  While I know a lot of junk about construction, I know a lot more about history and politics.  Also, construction?  Not so good for all of the “What’s his name?” questions I get on a daily basis.  So…I’ve decided it’s time to apply my background and I’ve taken to christening trucks and trains and blocks after former US Presidents and First Ladies.  What’s the name of that skid steer?  Lady Bird Johnson.  The paver?  Chester Arthur. 

My favorite part of this game is when Boo sees something out in the world that triggers a memory of something we dubbed earlier that day.  There’s little better than a toddler pointing to a train and excitedly yelling, “Look!  Look!  That train looks just like Rutherford B. Hayes!”


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