Motherhood

What Little Things Enchant Your Children?

Toby and Anton

One of the best parts of parenting is seeing the world through a child’s eyes, don’t you think? The world feels so magical. It’s not just a city block with buildings; it’s an ant hill, a taxi, A TEENAGER. I’ve been a parent for more than seven years, and it never gets old. Here are a few things my boys find thrilling these days…

Getting letters in the mail
Half birthdays
Cats
When the moon is out during the daytime
Anytime the doorbell rings
Photos of themselves
When trees are still dripping after it rains
When grown ups come over at night and they can stay up late and have some chips
Anytime they get to sleep in our bed
High fives
Mango lassis
Mommy tracing letters on their backs
When Daddy swats flies
Pajama day at school
When the flight attendant who gave them cookies was also NAMED COOKIE

It’s funny because you don’t always know exactly whether something will enchant them or irritate them. Sometimes it’s almost the same thing: haircuts on someone else (good) vs. haircuts on themselves (bad); stepping in a puddle (good) vs. stepping in a puddle unexpectedly (very bad).

My sister-in-law wrote this on Facebook the other day:
Things that J. (3 years old) had a level 10 tantrum about in the last week:
1) His banana broke and I couldn’t fix it.
2) He wanted a bed he saw in his dream.
3) I wore a scarf to work.

What about your kids? What do they find delightful? I’d love to hear…

P.S. A baby’s favorite toys and a motherhood mantra.

(Photo by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Helena says...

    My 14 month old boy loves remotes, Youtube (don’t they all?), stairs, watching tv 20 cms away from it (uff), bread and most of all… water! He gets excited when he sees his bottle and always gets a sip. Always. :)

  2. Michaela says...

    My 19 month old loves…

    all cords, exercise bands, strings, etc.
    saying the word down, but it comes out ‘dow’
    saying that… ‘thaaa’
    trying to hug our cat
    being outside as much as possible
    turning light switches on and off
    bubbles
    crackers
    using a fork
    pushing and pulling anything

  3. Liz says...

    I don’t have children of my own yet, but I consider my twin sister’s son almost mine:) He’s one and a half and currently loves dogs, dancing, Thomas the Train, remote controls, and being outside as much as possible. I love having him around. I would love to get him a guitar like Anton’s when he’s a little older! Mind sharing where it’s from?

  4. Grandma Tricey says...

    Raindrops on the pond in our backyard

  5. Jane says...

    My 2.5-year-old daughter will drop everything if she sees an airplane. She does a little dance and yells (on repeat) “Airplane!” at the top of her lungs.

    My 5-year-old son loves to build and creates fantastic structures with a combination of legos, wooden blocks, random boxes, nearly airless balloons, pillows and blankets.

  6. Auuuuuuuwwww……amazing how kids can do wonders

  7. Hana says...

    I love this so much. My 3 and 5 year olds love rubbish trucks, and those trucks that have a giant vacuum cleaner hanging off the back like an elephant’s trunk. We’ve just moved to a house with a fire (it’s winter in New Zealand) and they love collecting dry cabbage tree leaves to start the fire with, and watching me light the match and get the paper burning. They love boxes, pushing furniture around (so annoying!), and collecting sticks and stones when we’re out. We found a broken mirror ball when we were biking, that was AMAZING!

    • Hana says...

      Oh and they love getting between the mattress and the fitted sheet on our bed and yelling “BOO!” when I come in the room. Yesterday morning I pulled back the curtains to show them the pink sky and my 5 year old said “Mum, if we get a big container would we be able to put some of that beautiful air in it and keep it?”

  8. Eleonoor says...

    If the flight attendant who gave ME a cookie was named Cookie I would be SO enchanted too!!

    • Kate says...

      I once had a server at a sushi restaurant named Lemon. Made my week.

      I also have a business associate named Honey and another named Vanilla. Both very professional, probably to make up for their delicious-sounding names. They don’t know each other, but I like to imagine they’re sisters.

  9. Taylor Wicker says...

    Here are my 17 month olds latest loves:
    Watching for “deers” in our back yard while he eats dinner. (I park the high chair by the window and the deer family from the woods behind our house provide the best entertainment!)
    Putting his hand in the cats’ water bowl
    Putting food in his ear (yay!)
    Waving at cars
    Trying to pick up big/heavyish items

  10. Kait says...

    This is a random comment about parenting but do any moms or dads curse in front of their kids? My parents didn’t much when I was growing up and it wasnt allowed in our house but now my mom swears like a sailor! It drives my dad nuts. I always try to drop the habit every New Years and I think I’m better. My southern girlfriends never swear and i know it’s old school but it does some classier and lady like ! I’m currently in an Airprort lounge and a seemingly “normal” mom is swearing in conversation in front of her teenagers. Not in a mean or yelling way but in conversation. Just wondering if this is a new chill parent thing??

  11. Hope says...

    My 15 month old finds putting the lid on anything the most engaging activity ever, drinking orange juice (a rare treat), asking for the fan to be turned on, and moving slippers and shoes around the house.

  12. Ana says...

    My 21 m/o daughter has been obsessed with her new set of colour pencils, she always carries a couple of them with her, when she’s just hanging out at home, to the dinner table, to the playground, to bed… She even asks for them in the bath !

    She’s thrilled when she gets to drink sparkling water, tea with no sugar and to have a bite of dark chocolate.

    It really is such a privilege to get to see the world through their eyes, everything is so fresh and new.

  13. Jodie says...

    One word…Uranus, of course pronounced “Your Anus” because it’s hilarious.

  14. Nicole says...

    My three-year-old:
    Walking out of buildings backwards to avoid the bright sun
    Tarzan
    Airports
    Swimming “under breff” (holding breath under water)
    Brown ice cream with crust (a chocolate ice cream cone)
    Praying this short, sweet, and hard to beat prayer: “Dear Jesus, we pray for all the THIIIIIINGS. Amen.”

    My one-year-old:
    Being held by me at all times (eye roll!)
    Remotes
    Tearing sh-beep up

    • Your three year old sounds like the best fun ever.

  15. Lauren says...

    Yes to this! My son is almost three and your sister-in-law’s comment resonates with me strongly. Few things make my son happier than getting to pick out what I wear to work.

    • Amanda says...

      Ha! Yes to this. On the flip side, my 4 year old cried when I braided my hair (“make it a buuuuuuuuuuuunnnn mama!”) and, as he is starting to talk about his feelings, told me the other morning (I was wearing new pants) that it makes him sad when I wear new clothes because he doesn’t know if they are soft for snuggling.

  16. Y says...

    My almost 20-month old daughter is also obsessed with the moon during daytime.

    She also loves iced mint tea. We make it at home, so when we go to restaurants or coffee shops she is SO confused when she asks for “mint tea peaaas” and they don’t have it.

    Other big hits: watching ice cubes melt, recycling, cracking eggs into a bowl, and…. BACON.

  17. I love this post and others like it. Please keep it up!!!

  18. Meena says...

    I love learning what interests my 2 year old daughter. Her list:

    How Daddy gets to work (bus days are more exciting than bike days)
    The salad spinner
    Reaching for planes in the sky
    Feeling the wind even though you can’t see it
    Bubble water (sparkling water)
    Balloons
    Our neighbor’s dog Maya. She calls all dogs Maya
    Hotel rooms, especially playing with the phone
    Family hugs. If she sees Ken and I hugging she wants in and she says FAMILY HUG ?

  19. Alexandra Brown says...

    My daughter is 14 years old and she is proof that when “Make believe” is encouraged young it doesn’t have to stop. She and I just returned from a lovely mother-daughter trip to Boston, a first time visit for her. She was enchanted by Boston’s lovely Public Garden so we settled under the shade of a beautiful tree and sat there – for over an hour… not talking, and no phones out. After a while I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was imagining living on the little duck island and how she would live there and govern all the little ducks and naming them all…. and what being a duck there must be like. I loved seeing her imagination at work – even as a teenager.

    • Ashley says...

      She sounds so charming!! I hope she’s able to hold on to that and you’re able to help her carry that through difficult teenage years–how beautiful to come out on the other side with all of that!

  20. Jessica says...

    My daughter is turning one on Friday. I’m always amused by the things that grab her attention. Including but not limited to:

    Watching airplanes fly overhead
    Our cats
    Bouncing balls
    Pinwheels
    The wind blowing the leaves on trees
    Ceiling fans
    Remotes
    Anyone playing a guitar
    When I let her drink out of my can of La Croix
    Anything with Elmo on it

    She does NOT like when I use the spray hose on the sink to clean anything. She looks at me with this worried face and whimpers a little whenever I do it!

    • Elaine clark says...

      My 16 month old son and your dAughter can start a La Croix guzzling, remote punchin, fan/pinwheel loving club!!