Monday, January 5, 2009

The New Obsession

Over the Christmas break, it became very apparent that Michael’s letter obsession has started to wane, and that it is being replaced by a dinosaur obsession. I’ve spent the past several days debating with myself over which obsession is worse.

The letter obsession was interesting when it started. I mean really, who wouldn’t be excited that their 16 month old is learning letters because he wants to? But, there are some drawbacks to living with the letter obsessed. For one thing, most refrigerator magnet letters hurt when you step on them in the dark. Come to think of it, they aren’t too pleasant when you discover one in your bed in the middle of the night and think it’s a bug either. However, the biggest problem with a long term letter obsession is that letters are pretty boring. Once you get past capitals, lowercase, and sounds, there really isn’t much going on in the letter world. You can only change things up so much with colors and textures.

So, I was excited about the arrival of the dinosaur obsession. Dinosaurs are much more exciting than letters. There are entire books about them, including a $35 encyclopedia that I was convinced to buy at Barnes and Noble. In my defense, I gave in because it has the phonetic pronunciation of pachycephalasaurus in it, which is valuable information when you have a dinosaur obsessed tot in the house. As it turns out, he already knew what one was, and how to say it, so I got suckered into buying it under false pretenses. But, I needed to look up Iguanodons the other day, so I don’t feel too bad about it. (I’m not sure what my mom and Michael do during the day, but it seems I don’t have to worry about her rotting his brain with too much TV.)

Anyway, like I said, the dinosaur obsession started out exciting, but now that the reality has set in, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I thought stepping on plastic letters was bad. Plastic dinosaurs hurt a hundred times worse. They also take up more space, and are more expensive.

The dinosaur DVD’s are definitely more interesting than the letter DVDs. If I never hear, “The A says ah, the A says ah, every letter makes a sound…” ever again, it will be too soon. Because Dinosaurs are such a common (normal?) kid obsession, there are plenty of DVDs out there, and so far none of them include a singing frog. But, they do include talk of things like “bossils” as Michael calls them. For something to become a fossil, it must “get dead” first. There’s also been talk of dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs. Oh my. Don’t even get me started on how I feel about Michael using the word “killed”. Yikes. And, if you are looking for dinosaur related DVD’s, Walking with Dinosaurs is very well done, and keeps the flash eating to a minimum. Now, if only they didn’t mention “eating their young” a few times, I would recommend it for younger enthusiasts. As for me, Michael’s seen it once, and he’s hooked. I just try to distract him when that part comes up.

So far, the most fun and painful part of the dinosaur obsession is the pretend play. I love pretend play with Michael. The creativity and imagination of small children is amazing. The things such young minds come up with are always so surprising and sweet and humorous. I just about melted when Michael called me “Mama T. Rex” and handed me his balled up shirt because it was a dinosaur egg. How sweet is that? Michael also played “hatch” for about half an hour the other day. I would cover him with pillows and he would hatch out from them like a baby dinosaur. We giggled the whole time.

What’s not so fun is when we had to pretend to be ankylosaurus and crawl around on the hard, tile kitchen floor. My knees are too old for that sort of thing. I had to direct baby ankylosaurus into the living room so we could play on the carpet.

The worst part of the pretend play is that Michael’s favorite dinosaur is T. Rex, so he spends most of his time as Baby T. Rex. Well, like any good T. Rex, Baby T. Rex needs to fight with other dinosaurs and then tries to eat them. I’ve spent the past week being stalked by Baby T. Rex, and let me just tell you this, he may not have 6 inch long teeth, but Baby T. Rex bites hurt none the less. That little stinker will sneak up on me and try to take a bite out of me any chance he gets. If I sit down next to him, he climbs on me and goes for my head, face or hair. Mama T. Rex has tried to put a stop to this, but I think that nothing short of wiring Baby T. Rex’s jaw shut will stop him.

So, my conclusion as to whether the letter obsession or the dinosaur obsession is worse is that, in general, obsessions suck for everyone but the obsessed. Now please excuse me while I go tend to my wounds.


LauraC said...

All these toddler obsessions made me think about why my boys have no obsessions. But they do. Nate is obsessed with music, any kind of music. And after hearing a song a couple of times he can sing the tune. Alex is obsessed with how things work.

A musician and an engineer, born from two tone-deaf engineers. If they weren't twins, I would swear Nate was switched at birth.

Denise said...

My oldest was obsessed with dinosaurs, but that was many many years ago. My two little guys are both train obsessed. So is hubby. So I think they will never out-grow the train thing. But I can hope.

Steph said...

Cooper has an ongoing letter obsession and also loves dinosaurs... you are right, dinosaurs are the worse of the two to step on in the dark. I had to pack away the singing letter thingy for a while, it got to be too much!!!

Melissa said...

LOL I am really impressed with how smart he is! I love the hatching play~ so cute! I have a lion at my house right now. A roaring jumping out from behind things and pouncing lion!

Deanna said...

I love his imagination! Kelton hasn't gotten hooked on anything yet...unless you call it something when he does that little prancing dance when one of his stuffed animals sings. Hubby is obsessed with figuring out if he'll be right handed or left handed...something to do with baseball.