Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘baby toys


This past weekend Niko showed an interest in taking up piano by tickling the ivory every chance he got. Do we have a mini-Bach in the making? Judging from the sounds he pounded out on the keys, probably not. But did he have fun playing this pint sized piano? You betcha.

I’ve written before about my take on noisy toys, and have taken the stance that they’re something to look forward to when we go to friends’ houses. It’s always interesting to see the collection of toys each little person has at their own house. I mean all the collections are different and it is something for the Little N Man to anticipate on his play dates. So yes, Niko had a ball playing on Ruby’s red piano. But are we going to get one for him? I don’t think so.

PS – Note the little pink cell phone by Niko’s knee, which is in fact one of the only “noisy” toys we’ve ever bought for him. I guess he doesn’t want to miss any important calls, so he keeps it close.


Yesterday I was forced to get my gender biases in check. Thank goodness.

Up until now most of Niko’s toys have been hand-me-downs from his cousin John Russell. He has so many toys that he doesn’t even play with all of them, but has taken to favouring a few: his box of blocks, a  little Tonka train set, Sophie (of course), and a few other randoms. Every once in a while I switch his toys so he can play with other ones, but his favourites remain the same. Actually one of his favourite things to play with is the remote for the TV or the cordless telephone. He just loves pressing the buttons and will reach for either item when Borys or I are using them.

Mostly for my own piece (or is it peace?) of mind, Niko doesn’t play with too many toys that make noise. You know the ones. They’re battery operated, and have sirens and buzzers, and other annoying sounds… I can’t really stand those types of toys: they make too much noise! So, Niko has been somewhat shielded.

This weekend we went to Marc and Mel’s house for lunch. Little Talia, who is about a year and a half old, has so many different toys and Niko had a great time playing, especially with the noisy ones (insert tiny feelings of guilt projecting from me, here.) He especially took a liking to a piano and a cell phone. Even I had to agree, this battery-operated cell phone was pretty cool: just big enough for his tiny hands, with lots of buttons to press. So after lunch Borys and I headed to the mall to get Niko his very own phone: seeing as he has a hankering for our cordless anyway, and he was having such a good time with Talia’s phone, we figured he might like to have a phone of his own.

When we got to Toys’R’Us the only phone I could find was hot pink and our conversation went something like this.

Me: Hmm…there has to be a blue one, or another colour. I don’t’ want to get him a pink phone.

Borys: Alli, it seems like a good phone, so why not?

Me: I don’t know. But I’m going to look around the store and see if I can find a different one.

10 minutes later…

Me (holding the hot pink cell and an alternative): So I found this other one.

Borys: Yah, but I don’t like it as much.

Me: Me neither.

B: So why don’t we just get him the pink one?

Me: Hmm…

B: Come on. It’s a nice bright vibrant colour and just because he’s a boy it doesn’t mean he can’t have a pink toy.

Me: You are totally right. Let’s get it.

So that’s the story of how Niko came to own a pink cell. And does he care that it’s pink? No. I’m just wondering why these colour biases are so deeply ingrained? I mean I think I’m a pretty open-minded person, but for some reason I was putting the brakes on getting a pink toy for the the Little N Man. But Daddy was right: it is a nice bright colour, and what’s wrong with that? Nothing.


Before a job interview you can usually guess what some of the questions will be: Why do you want to work here?, What are your strengths?, What are you weaknesses?, blah, blah, blah. Well, I used to find the one about weaknesses a challenge. I mean I didn’t want to reveal something that would make my prospective employer not want to hire me, but at the same time had to admit to something that was indeed a weakness. After much thought and discussion with friends and family, my token answer became: “I tend to procrastinate, but work well under pressure.” This always seemed a satisfactory response: a weakness, balanced by a strength.

In relation to my current situation, I find myself once again relying on this go-to phrase. Despite my good intentions and goal setting, packing just hasn’t made it to the top of my priority list as of yet. But really, how much stuff can I pack right now, anyway? We still need to live; it’s not like I can pack up the entire kitchen or anything. So yes, at this point I can (somewhat) easily rationalize my lack of motivation for packing. And can you blame me when I have so many other important things to attend to: my baby, my blog, my dog, hanging out with friends, reading, capturing my little man on video, etc.

So even though I’ve set a packing goal for myself (a few boxes a day), at this stage I find that procrastinating is so much more fun, especially when it involves documenting the life and times of Little Niko on video. (Plus, since I do work well under pressure, there’s always time for packing later, right?)

Latest Videos:

Baby Niko Gets a Kick out of Chewing and Shaking his Stuffed Monkey (0:46)

Baby Niko has fun Playing with Blocks (1:19)

Note: I’ve written before about how chewing on wool is one of those things that sends shivers down my spine. I mean the way the wool just screeches along the teeth …blech! However, as seen in the video links above, this pet peeve of mine is not something that seems to bother Baby N.


Poor little Sophie almost suffered her demise today. Thank goodness all she actually suffered was some slobber, and she’s used to slobber, just not the canine variety, per se.

I was walking through my living room when I spotted her utterly alone and all nestled in on Frasier’s humongous dog pillow, with the telltale sign of fur by her feet. I know Sophie’s popular but didn’t realize what a temptation she was for our pooch. We’ll have to be careful where we put her next time. Niko wouldn’t be happy if he lost his beloved little giraffe to the jaws of his huge poodle.


Niko: I’m a big boy in a big boy stroller. 🙂

This was Niko’s first time enjoying the view from his stroller as he was meant to: sitting up and looking forward (despite the fact that his straps are a little loose). Up until now he’s been cruising in his car seat: looking skyward with the seat clipped into the stroller. But at six months he seems ready for the new view and this easy access to his toys!

Niko is now learning or doing something new everyday. Among other “milestones”, shrieking seems to tickle his fancy and reigns high at the top of his daily to-do list.

Mommy: What a beautiful voice you have Niko!


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