Monday, March 20, 2006

Anything dirty or dingy or dusty

A few of our readers have asked whether the pictures posted on Sam's photo tour of D.C. were posed. Let me assure you that they were not. Starting with the first can we passed in the parking lot of the Cedar Rapids Airport, Sam identified every trash receptacle from here to Our Nation's Capital. And back. It's just what he does. When free to run on his own, he approaches every garbage can he sees with alacrity and enthusiasm. When confined to a stroller, he points, leans and yells "ba-bage" until his discovery is acknowledged.

I'm not sure where this obsession of his came from, but it is persistent and pervasive. As evidence, I present the following:
  • "Garbage" (pronounced "ba-ba" or "ba-bage") was his fourth word, preceded only by "airplane" ("da!"), "monkey" ("ooo-ooo-ooo"), and "uh-oh!" ("uh-oh!"). Non-essential words like "Mommy" came much, much later.
  • During those torturous months when Sam was too young for nursery (15-18 mos), but too old to be entertained by quiet books during Sunday School, I could position the classroom trash can next to my chair and give him a pocket-sized package of tissues. He'd keep himself busy wadding up the tissues and throwing them in the garbage for half an hour. Now that he's old enough to go to nursery, he runs straight for the garbage can--not the puzzles, games, and toys laid out to distract clingy toddlers when they are dropped off by their parents.

After removing an over-flowing garbage bag from the kitchen trash can and taking it to the front door on its way to the garage, I have returned to the kitchen to find Sam completely inside the under-sink cupboard (you know, where we keep the oven cleaner!) retrieving a new liner for the can. If bags of garbage stay at the front door more than a few minutes while I empty cans in other parts of the house, Sam will busy himself dragging the bags up and down the stairs until I come to collect them all.
  • Wednesday is Sam's favorite day for walks to the park because it is garbage day in our neighborhood. He stops at each bin and reverently pats the City of Iowa City logo while whispering "ba-bage." On other days of the week, he is happy to find a can still out at the curb, but failing that, he'll march right up strangers' driveways and into their garages to caress each garbage can.
  • Because of its resemblance to his bedroom diaper pail, he identified Tutter's mouse hole in his Big Blue Bear boardbook as the "ba-bage." It's usually the first--and most exciting-- item he picks out on the page each time we read.

Garbage is his most prominent obsession, but Sam also holds a great fondness for brooms, mops, and vacuums. I'm convinced that if we could teach him to knock on doors and say "housekeeping!" we could make some serious money.


B said...

It's good to see some variety in toddler obsessions! He sure is a cutie, even if he's obsessed with garbage!

dani said...

LOL! Sam's ba'bage obsession reminds me of my Bria's "home" obsession. I'll post about my Bria-isms in my own blog... Thanks for the inspiration!

Tarimisu said...

This is cracking me up! I have never seen such a thing from a toddler! How cute! He'd love our trash cans in the babies' room and in the bathroom - the kitchen trashcan is hidden in the pantry. I wish my kids were more interested in picking up than in messing up! Sam's adorable, ya'll!

Christina said...

Garbagemen DO make really good money...