A couple days ago, one of my best buddies, Dylan, came over for a visit. Dylan is 2 and a half years old and one of the most delightful human beings I've ever met. Takes a real joy in life and the people around him, is intensely curious (especially about keys, locks, doors, cell phones....) and, well, he likes me a lot. What more can you ask for?
So he spent a few hours with us on Monday, 20 December. We have a big (fake) Christmas tree in the living room, full of lights and ornaments and, under the tree, wrapped presents. Dylan made a bee line for the tree and started to unwrap one of Chris's presents.
"No, Dylan, you can't unwrap that. It's not for you!"
He very politely set that box down and picked up another. "No, Dylan..."
Sadly, we had no wrapped present under the tree for Dylan. So we told him: "We'll take you to the mall, buy you a present, bring it home and wrap it. Then you can open it. OK?"
"OK," said Dylan. Big surprise!
But a moment later, he remembered how much he liked to use our big, heavy, Royal canister vacuum cleaner. So he dragged that out of the closet and spent the next twenty minutes attaching various tips to the hose, cleaning the floor, me, himself...and then off we went to the basement to pull suitcases out of the closet under the stairs.
Veva warned me that if we didn't take Dylan to the mall, he would have a fit later on when it was time to go home - and suddenly memories of present and mall would come flooding back. So I explained the situation to Dylan:
"We can take you to the mall and get a present or we can stay here and play. But if we stay, we won't be able to go to the mall later. Which do you want to do?"
Then a bit later, Dylan made his way back to the Christmas tree and tried once again to unwrap Chris's present. So I made a new offer: "Let's go down to the basement, and you can pick out any toy you want, and we'll wrap it up, put it under the tree, and then you can open that."
So down we went, I opened the cabinet full of board games and other various toy-like objects. Most held no appeal for Dylan, but finally he came across an animal dominoes set that he liked.
I wrapped it, but a bow on it, wrote his name on it. I put it under the tree. Dylan tried to open Chris's present again (big box), but I pointed to the one that he could now open. He did, very excitedly. Oohs and aahs filled the air. We sat down on the floor and played with the small pieces of wood covered with ducks and ladybugs and cats and dogs and so on.
After a while, Dylan: "Wrap it!" So I wrapped it up again, stuck the bow back on, put it under the tree. After a few minutes, he pulled it out unwrapped it with oohs and aahs, and re-acquainted himself with the game.
Then it was time to go home, so I secured the various ripped edges of the paper with more tape - again, it was wrapped! And brought it to his home and his own tree. Two more times that night, with his dad (Matthew) watching, Dylan ripped open his present and showed it with pride and delight to Matthew.
What a funny boy.