Do you have a Magic Toy at your house?
What's a Magic Toy? It's a toy that is absolutely guaranteed to enthrall your children. Every time. No exceptions (or very, very few). They never get tired of it. It's...magic.
For William, it was the Batcave. He received the Batcave for Christmas from Santa in 2009. It became our go-to toy. He always was happy to play with it. It went on all our trips with us. Whenever friends came over to visit, he immediately brought them over to show off the Batcave. And the Magic was transferable, amazingly enough. Two-year-old boys loved it. Six-year-old girls loved it. They all loved it.
It no longer is quite that all-encompassing anymore, but you know, he still really loves to play with it. It might not be a Magic Toy, per se, but it was a Magic Toy for a really long time, and it's still a Pretty-Close-to-Magic Toy even now. Andrew discovered it when he started crawling, and he often sits over there by the Batcave and tinkers with it for quite a long time. Oh yes, the Batcave still has some of that old magic.
The Batcave may have a little competition now.
Like many other toddlers, Andrew has discovered Sesame Street. He doesn't watch the television show yet, but he has discovered a deep affinity for Elmo and Cookie Monster and the rest of the gang.
One morning, I discovered a little Sesame Street village toy in Target and showed it to Andrew, only to have him seize the village like his life depended on it. I pried it out of his hands, only to have him begin loudly sobbing. The next time we went to Target, I decided, "Ah, what the heck" and bought it for him. The way I see it is that almost all of his toys are hand-me-downs. What will it hurt for him to get something new every so often?
Plus, the village came with Elmo and Cookie Monster, his faves!
I picked up a package with Ernie and Bert, too, because, okay, yes, Ernie is my lifelong favorite, and there cannot be a Sesame Street without Bert and Ernie. At least not at my house.
We got home, and I wrestled the toy out of its packaging. I set it on the floor. Andrew was, yes, entranced. He settled down to play. And play. And play. And now, whenever we come home from someplace, he immediately runs off to check on his Sesame Street toy. Eventually, he always comes toddling back over to me, with Cookie Monster and Elmo in hand (see picture above), saying happily, "El-bah! El-bah!" (His pronunciation for "Elmo.") Then he scampers back to his toy, where he plays, plays and plays some more.
William is not immune to its charm either, despite his sophisticated five-year-old self. Nothing is better than when he sits down next to Andrew and plays with the village with him. In fact, William has begun lobbying for me to buy the Sesame Street fire truck to go with the village. "It comes with Grover," he told me, adding quite reasonably, "We really need Grover."
William has also tried to cajole me into buying a set of figures that comes with both Cookie Monster and Telly. "But we already have a Cookie Monster," I pointed out.
"Yes, but we don't have Telly," he argued. "We need Telly. And it wouldn't hurt to have a back-up Cookie Monster, just in case."
My child, the future lawyer. Still, would it really be a bad thing to have a back-up Cookie Monster? I mean, given how much Andrew adores him, and all, and it's a good thing to be prepared for emergencies, right? A Cookie Monster emergency could happen. It could.
Hmmm. Perhaps the Sesame Street village has begun to pull me under its magic spell, too...