I wrote about the Sins of the Mothers some time back and since then have discovered that this appears to be more common than I had assumed. Several Mum friends have admitted their weakness for buying toys based on their own wants as opposed to their child’s desires. Then, I saw it in action while in the toy department.
Gavin was playing at one of those Thomas Train display tables and I was sitting nearby waiting for him to tire sufficiently from playing to extract him with minimal of argument. Along comes two boys – one about Gavin’s age and the other slightly older – and they join Gavin at the table. After a while, their mother arrives with toy in hand, asking the younger boy is he wanted it. Being completely mesmerised by the Thomas table (as most little boys are whenever they come within sight of Thomas and Friends toys), the little boy barely even noticed his mother beside him.
The mother persisted and asked him several times if he wanted it. He finally declined. She hesitated. She clearly wanted to get it. “You don’t have a fire engine,” she said. The boy remained uninterested.
I don’t know how the conversation progressed after that because I spied the opportunity to pry Gavin away from the Thomas table and seized it.
On Tuesday, I discovered that the Sins of the Mothers extends beyond toys – at least, mine do. Gavin and I were on our way to Kizsports in Bangsar Village. I took him by our usual route through MPH which was probably a mistake. The moment he saw books, he no longer wanted to go to the jungle gym.
“No playground. See Thomas books!” He cried.
The whole excursion was to tire him out at the jungle gym so a trip to the bookstore wasn’t really what I had in mind. Nevertheless, I felt I should be glad that my son loves books. So instead of heading up to Kizsports, we loitered around MPH, reading a few Thomas and Friends books and browsing through the “new” books.
Perhaps that last was a mistake on my part because I saw a lot of books I was sorely tempted to buy. One of the things about books these days is that they are so creative and engaging. Although I rarely look beyond the Thomas and Friends books, and now the Little Einsteins books, because Gavin isn’t really interested in much else, I don’t know what prompted me to do so this time. I saw a lot of very interesting books which I would have bought without a second thought if they had been age appropriate for Gavin and if I had some assurance that Gavin would have liked them. The last thing I wanted was to spend money on books he would barely give a cursory glance to.
Okay, okay, I lie. I did walk away with two books and boy was it hard to do even just that. The good news was that they were real bargains so it wouldn’t have been too bad even if Gavin decided he wasn’t interested in them.
The first book I bought was called “Sticker Atlas: Animals“.
It was 20% off the normal price of RM11.90 for MPH members. For 300 stickers, that’s a steal. Plus it comes with a free map of the world poster that you can stick up.
Since Gavin is just getting interested in all the interesting and unique animals around the world, I thought this book would be perfect. They had another similar Sticker Atlas on the world, but I figured that was less likely to interest Gavin. I was initially pretty keen to get it because it talked about interesting landmarks and features of different countries (which I felt was pretty educational), but as Gavin pointedly told me he didn’t want it, I figured I should abide by his wishes.
The second book I bought was one of a series of four sticker books called Crazy Sticker Mix. At RM6.90 each (20% off for MPH members), you really couldn’t go wrong here. Made up with glossy pages, there is the head and body of an animal on each page with the arms, legs, tails, and facial features as stickers. You can help your child identify which stickers belong to which animal and stick them on correctly, or you can mix and match the body parts of different animals to create some crazy animal creations.
They had Wild Animals – which was the one that Gavin ended up choosing after I laid them all side by side and asked him what he wanted.
Funny Pets – which was the book of choice of my friend’s daugther.
One of the reasons why I was keen on this book was because it provided another activity I could engage Gavin in when trying to keep him occupied so we can sit down long enough to enjoy a meal or to get through a car ride. Since they were stickers, I didn’t have to worry about losing bits and pieces which tend to go missing with all other games and activities involving bits and pieces.
As much as I wanted to buy them all on the spot, I figured I should at least test if Gavin enjoyed this activity with one book first. As it turns out, Gavin was quite keen to get this book. He was equally keen to pull out the stickers and attach them, albeit in the wrong places. It kept him completely entertained in the car all the way from home to Midvalley, unfortunately, it made me positively ill concentrating on the pictures in a moving vehicle. Suffice to say that book won’t be coming out in the car again.
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