This past week has been one to show us - or at least remind us - that the best toys very often aren't. Specifically toys, that is.
For awhile now, Guthrie has enjoyed playing with rulers. Just plain wooden rulers, which he turns into a million different things - tracks for his trains, roads for his cars, bridges across boxes, ramps up onto higher levels, a pogo stick as he holds it and jumps up and down, a knife to cut play food, a sword to fight dragons, a gate for his trains, he uses more than one to become a fence, or to mark off a parking space for a bigger car.
The other day, my mom reminded me that the space shuttle was going to land, and so Guthrie and I sat at the computer, pulled up one of the news websites, and watched it landing. This piqued his interest in space shuttles (at least momentarily) and we searched YouTube for videos of shuttles taking off and landing (but not blowing up - skipped the Challenger). Then he asked lots of questions about them, and a drumstick became the space shuttle, with a ruler serving as the boosters which fall off.
Another drumstick was an airplane, and he showed me the differences in how the two take off - space shuttles go straight up, while airplanes gradually ascend at an angle. But they both land (roughly) the same way.
We looked through my photo albums, and found a picture of me at the space center in Huntsville, Alabama, as a little girl, sitting in a model of an old space shuttle. He spent hours laying on his back, pretending he was in a shuttle taking off, flying all over the place.
Two cardboard boxes brought in from the garage have served as places to hide, a turtle shell when held on Guthrie's back, a cage, and a home for a Jack-in-the-Box, or I guess a Guthrie-in-the-Box.
Yesterday, I heard lots of giggling coming from the library, and found Eric and Guthrie sitting on opposite sides of the large low table, playing what Guthrie called "Bounce and Roll" with a new roll of scotch tape. For nearly an hour, Eric, then I, sat across from Guthrie sending this roll of tape back and forth, then putting it down and trying to blow it across, figuring out ways to make it roll on its side, roll in a boomerang that came back to us, using a doorstop as a ramp for it to roll down. It was delightful to see the joy and discovery in Guthrie's face.
We have been saving every cork from every wine bottle we use for some time now. (And since I am generally the only one who drinks wine, if you saw our collection, you would be convinced I am an alcoholic. I am not. It is a few years' worth of corks. And I can't recall the last time I was truly intoxicated - certainly before Turner was conceived.) When we visited a friend of ours a few years ago, he had corks, and his son and Samantha took a bunch to a creek and had "cork races." I took a bunch into the bathtub for the boys to play with, and said they were boats. Well, Guthrie put a couple in the "fish holding tank" part of his toy boat, and they were fish. He put a couple in his toy canoe, and they were people riding in the canoe. Another one went into the seat at the front of the boat, and was the person sitting up front fishing (and he reeled in a cork fish). There seems to be no end to what a little imagination can turn corks into. Thank you, Yellow Tail.
A large red plastic container, which up until now had housed extra sheets and towels (which we finally sorted through this week), was filled up with all the balls we could find in the house, and became an instant miniature ball pit. Both boys loved it. Guthrie then hid in the container, and insisted we put the lid on top for him to repeatedly kick off.
We have a house full (really, we have entirely too many toys, although most of them are variations on one theme - TRAINS!) of toys, and again, what the kids like the most are all the other things.