This was not an issue with Very Smalls. It took them a while to be aware enough of the world around them to become hooked by something. But it did happen at a surprisingly young age.
Before Small was able to say anything other than ‘doiden’ he became fixated by Thomas the Tank Engine. Small was throwing bricks around the living room one day with the television on in the background, mainly for me to hear adult voices to stop me going crazy. Thomas the Tank Engine came on and Small stopped throwing bricks and became transfixed. Five minutes of silence was followed by a complete meltdown when it finished.
In these days of rewindable TV I could have spent the day looping the programme again and again but those were the days of video recorders (younger readers may need to visit their local museum to see one of these devices). So, I loaded an inconsolable Small into his buggy and headed for the shops. He only calmed down once I had found a Thomas video, in the third charity shop I tried, and he could see his new hero on the cover. He then spent the rest of the day watching the video over and over. It wasn’t great parenting but he was quiet.
The Thomas fixation lasted for 5 years and then switched off literally overnight. One day it was train track all over the lounge, the next, none. However, during the fixation years an enormous collection of wooden, metal and plastic Thomas and Friends trains and tracks was accumulated. The weight of it still presses on my shoulders as it looms in the loft above, waiting for me to find time to rehome it. The accrued cost makes me shudder. Luckily most of it was bought by grandparents.
That was not the last fad but it was the longest. As Small got older the fads seemed to fade faster, probably as he became aware of a wider range of things and more susceptible to peer pressure. Some came and went in weeks, others came and went and then return again.
A chronology of fads for our Smalls was:
- Thomas the Tank Engine
- Bob the Builder
- Club Penguin
- Ben 10
- Bin Weevils
- Star Wars
- Marvels Super Heroes
Some of these overlapped, which was a burden because the thing about fads is, you have to have everything! And you have to have it now!! And once you have it all you go off it overnight and move on to the next awesome thing.
Small also suffered from food fads but these could be fleeting. If I was lucky he would have gone off his ‘favourite thing ever’ by the time he was halfway through his first plateful. Otherwise it would be a week later that he decided he didn’t like it (and never had), just after I had bought in a job lot, jubilant that I had finally found something he would eat.
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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