Motherhood

What Little Things Enchant Your Children?

Toby and Anton

Cup of Jo has been running for 13 years (!) so we’ve decided that every week, we’ll be highlighting one of the most popular posts from the past. Here’s one of our favorites, originally published on June 26, 2017…

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
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. Seona says...

    My son just turned ONE (I’m still in shock!) and he’s enchanted by the smallest things and it makes me smile constantly.
    Two of his biggest ones are the oven when it’s on, and lights and light switches.
    He seriously thinks both are magical!

  2. Maggie G. says...

    My 4.5 year old told us earnestly after playing in our unkempt backyard, “I’m so glad they keep planting more dandelions after we pick the tallest ones. They know just when we need more to play with.” When my spouse asked who “they are”, my son shrugged and said, “I don’t know, but they are really nice to me”. I hope he soaks in this sense of benevolence and shares it with those around him.

  3. Jenny says...

    One night at bedtime my husband made the mistake of mentioning to my two-year-old that he saw a (possibly stray) cat outside our front door. Our son was so excited about the presence of this cat but he refused to sleep and stayed up babbling about it.

  4. Alex says...

    I love to see preschool treasures. When my daughter’s preschool closed suddenly, we cleaned out her cubby and found the most adorable collection of little things she tucked away in there. Five hair elasitics (one broken), six hair clips, a head band, a homemade card from her best buddy, a valentine from another buddy, a broken bracelet with all the stray beads saved, a parking ticket from the grocery store, the remote control for her night light, the charm from a broken necklace, an old watch, a small piece of paper with dozens of holes punched out of it, several pieces of colorful paper of various colors and shapes, a kiddie set of keys, broken pieces of some sort of clay sculpture they made in class, and one googly eye.

  5. Amanda G says...

    My son is 19 months old. We were having “a day” last week when all of a sudden, some city workers and construction equipment parked right in front of our house and started up their work(on what, I have no idea) and so outside we went and my son shouted and ran circles of excitement for all the “tractors” and noise. It made one tired moms afternoon and delighted the heck out of my son. They even honked and waved as they left.

  6. Allie says...

    My almost 2 yo is such a joy to be quarantined with and it’s so fun to see what enchants her. Lately the list includes watching daddy cook, “science experiments” involving food coloring, the tent we set up in the backyard, her favorite Moana songs, and anything that comes in a “big” and “little” size as she thinks they are a mama and baby pair. Yesterday she was so happy about the mama and baby cumin spices!

  7. I says...

    I bought a hammock a month ago and I spend more than an hour a day in it with my children. 4yo thinks it’s a pirate boat, so there are terrible monsters in the water around us and there’s waves… The 1yo just crawls all over me, both are cuddling a lot. Very happy I bought that.

  8. Molly says...

    My 5 yo daughter Maeve has been at home with me, pretty much in quarantine, since March 13, when her preschool closed. Saturday night we decided to go for a drive and asked her where she would like to drive to. She suggested a drive-thru carwash. We went. It was simple, cost like 12 bucks. But she LOVED it so MUCH. It had all these lights that changed colors and she’s still talking about it. Her joy and delight in something so simple fed my soul!

  9. Jody says...

    Joanna, I hope you laugh every time you see this picture. It is adorable – one little face, singing and playing with such great gusto and the other so joyful and happy. I’ve deliberately kept this marked ‘unread’ in my bloglovin’ reading roll for several days becuse I’m delighted every time I see it. We all need some delight right now – and I thank Anton and Toby for delivering this to me in spades!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      You’re so sweet, Jody!!! Xoxo

    • Jo says...

      I’ve been getting more creative with our daily smoothie, asking for lots of scooping and dumping help from my 18 month old. She is delighted that she gets to push the buttons and be the one who turns on the amazing whirring noise!

  10. Varina says...

    My 4 year old son loves to give me presents on our walks, mostly rocks and his favorite, sticks shaped like letters: “it’s a T for ME.” He’s a city kid and can walk miles at a time, holding the hand of his baby sister in her stroller. His latest enchantment is asking the names and brands of every car we pass by; his favorite is any car with a spoiler because it is obviously a race car.

    My baby daughter loves to go for runs with me, opening and closing her fists over and over again in the wind. She tolerates the hand holding because he makes her laugh, and is enchanted with all the sticks he brings back. They go straight in her mouth, and I break the enchantment when I fish the bark out again.

  11. Tracy says...

    When I was a child I was completely enchanted by cold air vents. I loved standing on large ones on the floor (particularly at my church) and how the air puffed up my skirt a little. We had smaller ones on the floor at my house that I would lay next to on a hot summer day. But by far my favorite was the window AC unit at my grandparents house. I would stand with my face as close to the vent as possible and let the cold air rush past me (the irony of this is as an adult, I hate wind). I haven’t thought of these memories in ages and wonder if my parents even noticed. Maybe they just thought I was hot… which makes me wonder how many things my 3 year old will be enchanted by that may go unnoticed by me. And also makes me think about how special life is that we can be so easily enchanted by such everyday things.

  12. Anna says...

    My 3 year old is enchanted by rocks.

    Of course rocks are plentiful, found most places and free. Despite all of that and flying in the face of economic theory on scarcity and value, she remains delighted whenever she sees rocks, particularly smallish pebbles.

    The rock thing has bred a couple ancillary delights: dresses with pockets, and plastic ziplock baggies. Both are suitable rock carriers and so are among her prized possessions.

  13. Christi says...

    When I saw this it also made me think about what I am enchanted by. I think perhaps the list would be:
    – a particularly beautiful song at the symphony (one that makes me close my eyes)
    – Seeing a painting you’ve known about for the first time at a museum
    – when the sky turns pink at sunset
    – a Popsicle or ice cream in a cone on a really hot day or a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows on a cold day
    – riding my bike down a big hill
    – A really fluffy animal (dog, alpaca, sheep…)
    – A really tiny baby animal.
    – A really delicious dessert. Like a warm and flaky croissant.
    – Swinging into a lake
    – swimming in the ocean
    – skating outside
    – a poem where you re-read certain lines over because they are so beautiful
    – when you are commuting and a busker is singing or playing such a beautiful song

    I think some are new adulthood joys and some are the things that remind me of being a kid.

    • Carol S-B says...

      Christi, i adore this.

  14. Jenny T. says...

    Three things my almost-five year old can’t get enough of:

    -Designing a very elaborate home for the caterpillars in our yard. It’s got swimming pools (empty yogurt cups), an exercise pen (a sandbox toy), a jungle gym (a piece of chicken wire) and many other amenities that far exceed what we human residents have.
    -Horses – a friend let her ride his awhile back and I think it was the highlight of her life so far.
    -Rainbows

    Not amused by:
    -The cat next door who hunts the baby animals in our neighborhood
    -Baths (until she’s in, then she never wants to get out)

  15. Anne says...

    In our house it has been farts and buts for a while now. There are other (more sober) things that fascinate them of course, but nothing beats farts and buts.

    • Erin says...

      My boyfriend and I are 27 and do not have children, but it’s also farts and butts in our house… they might not grow out of this one.

    • Kate says...

      Omg….ALL DAY LONG 🤦🏻‍♀️

    • Laura says...

      omg Erin I am dying 😂

  16. Rachel says...

    We went to our kids’ preschool to pickup bags of things from the teachers, who were tasked with cleaning out the classrooms. The teachers assembled lovely little bags for each kid that included personal notes, extra art supplies, completed art projects, and the spare outfits that we sent into school back in September in case of an accident. My kids thought it was soooooo nice of their teachers to gift them underpants and “new dresses.” I couldn’t break their hearts and tell them the truth…that those ratty clothes were just extras I had sent in and didn’t care about! They stripped out of their outfits and put on the “new” clothes from their teachers. Adorable.

    • Heather says...

      I am a teacher and your comment has made my day! It has so sad to think of our empty classrooms without of some of the people we care for most – our students. Now I am laughing thinking of all the goofy shenanigans my students must be getting up while we are practicing distance learning. Thank you for reminding me that we can all take a lesson from children right now and find joy and laughter in the simplest of things…even the “accident clothes” haha.

    • A says...

      This is so cute and such a great story to tell them when they’re older! My husband still fondly (or, not-so-fondly) remembers the “pee pants” he had to wear in kindergarten :)

    • Rebecca G says...

      So glad this comment was featured on the Friday post. I read your comment earlier in the week, and I have smiled about it countless times since. So sweet. Thank you.

  17. Amy says...

    My 5 year old twin boys love Hot Wheels cars, which they call “Bay bays”… Hot Wheels cars come from the planet “Bay bay bay” and speak saying “Ba ba ba.” They have “Bay bays” named for their various celebrities, i.e. “Hamilton Bay bay”, “Rapinoe bay bay”, etc. They love pill bugs or “roly polys”, catching crabs at the beach, the ice cream truck – “coronavirus can’t keep the ice cream truck man from coming”.

  18. Mary says...

    When my oldest was somewhere around 8-10 weeks old (can’t remember for sure), I happened to be looking at her as she was lying on her back kicking and waving her arms. As one hand moved straight above her head, she did a literal double take. She jerked her head and started looking all over. Then she saw her hands again! Eyes widened, and she peered intently as she looked about for that flying thing. For a couple of days, she was fascininated by her hands, and then realized they were somehow connected to her. She quickly learned when she wiggled a certain way, she would see them again! I was fascinated by watching her delight in discovering she could make them appear and disappear.
    This didn’t last long– maybe a week at most and it was no longer entertaining for her. I watched for that moment of discovery with each of my next kids– it’s magic

    • anne says...

      Love this!!

    • Kristie says...

      Yes!!! This is exactly what my 9 week old baby is doing! It’s hilarious and delightful!

  19. Mess, mess and some more messy mess.

  20. Sarah says...

    My 12-week-old daughter is currently most enchanted with…. my face! When she wakes up from her nap, I peek my face over her bassinet and she breaks into the sweetest smile. For a few minutes, we’re both blissfully happy just staring at each other.

    • CEW says...

      Congratulations. It just keeps getting better :)

  21. Claire says...

    Enchanting. I feel the same about getting letters in the mail, leaves dripping after rain, and the moon.
    I laughed out loud at your SIL’s list, but also I actually really want to know more about that bed your nephew saw in his dream.

  22. L says...

    My sister lives on 10 acres and the family recently got some chickens. One afternoon my 5 yo niece was holding one of the chicks gently above her head. My sister inquired what she was doing and her response “I’m showing her the world”.

    • Sav says...

      This melted me.

    • Annie says...

      Moments like this with little kids I nannied over the years are the reason I had a kid of my own – they’re so pure and curious and thoughtful and amazing! My son is only two months old but I can’t wait for this kind of magic with him.

  23. Claire says...

    I am 32 and I am still delighted by many of the things in your list. Sometimes I just forget to be.

  24. Cindy says...

    When my son was a toddler, he loved the red straws from Sonic. Sometimes when the days were getting long, I’d drive us to Sonic and I’d get a drink and he’d get a straw and we’d sit in a quiet car for a few minutes, both happy. I can feel my spirit calming just remembering it.

    • CEW says...

      It is the littlest things. What lovely memories. <3

  25. Bren says...

    I have twin girls (9 months old) who started sitting up on their own about a month ago. And even though its not quite as exciting as it was the first time it happened (although we are proud of them, of course!), every time one of the babies is sitting up my 4 year old daughter SCREAMS with excitement – “MOMMY, THE BABIES ARE SITTING UP!!!!!! LOOOOOOOK!!! GOOD JOB, ANNIE!!! GOOD JOB, BRIDGIE!!!! YOU DID IT!!!!!!” And we can’t help but laugh because this happens at least 25 times a day now, and she’s been doing this every day for the last month. I’m talking, full on cheerleader status with clapping and jumping up and down for her sisters. I mean who doesn’t love being cheered on?!

    • Bonnie says...

      Bren – This is a GEM! Thank you for sharing. I can picture the positivity just flowing from your 4-year old! My smile today.

    • Meghan says...

      This is so great!

    • Amber says...

      Everyone needs a hype girl!

  26. shelley says...

    My boys (ages 1 and 2) love rainbows, rhyming, butterflies, temporary tattoos, and having me make up a song on the spot about any and everything!

  27. Joanna F. says...

    I have a 5 year old an 18 month old. They both love so many things already mentioned. Lately during quarantine here near Boston, I’ve been making my own cold brew coffee at home. My 1 year old has LOVED coming in when I’m getting ice from the fridge (especially since a couple cubes fall on the floor usually and she “helps” by picking them up and throwing them out for me). She then points to the fridge to indicate that I should get the cream that I put in my coffee. It’s so cute!

    Big hits with both kids:
    bubbles
    coloring
    gathering pillows and stuffed animals in piles and playing with them
    playing with empty milk jugs

    My 5 year old has become OBSESSED with delivery trucks during quarantine and now wants to be a UPS driver when he grows up. :)

    • Amy says...

      My 5 year old twin sons also want to be Amazon/package delivery warehouse workers and get the items to be delivered to people because it’s so thrilling when they get a package. If we order an item, they will ask about tracking it and say things like “I bet they’re getting the item ready now.”

  28. Ali says...

    My 18 month old has a real thing for plugs and wires ( real safe), citrus fruits, and tinfoil while my 4 year old also loves the moon out in the daytime, a witch, food coloring! And worms. Oh and of course whenever we hear of someone with the same name as anyone else we’ve ever encountered. I love seeing their enchanted world.

  29. Annie K. says...

    Ha!

    I was starting to read the super charming comments to this post I looked up to see my 13 month son bent over, naked bum, with his hands splashing in and spreading his own pee.

    Enchanted? Delighted, for sure.

    • Kristie says...

      Haha this image made me laugh out loud, almost waking my babies up! They make their own fun don’t they?!

  30. I was walking with my nephew (age 3) a couple months ago outside, and he suddenly goes – “Awww!!!” I asked him what he was looking at and it was a smaller than normal size door on the side of a building. He thought it was so cute!! Haha.

    • Neela says...

      *that* is cute!

  31. Caitlin says...

    My 18 month old goes gaga for cars, sticks, puddles, dogs, cats, chickens, alleys (lol), pine cones, and pretty much every single other thing we encounter on our truly countless aimless walks around our neighborhood. And don’t even get me started on how much he loves bubbles. It truly enchants me to see the world through his eyes. I mean when you stop and think about it, cars really are super cool but somehow all these years I was just coexisting with them without a second thought.

  32. Emily says...

    We bought our home three years ago, and one of many “cosmetic” updates I’d like to make is replacing the front door. It’s hideous; faux stained glass with gold grout in a rather church-like design, and it just totally doesn’t suit our (my) aesthetic. But every evening when the sun goes down, rays of light filter through the machine-cut glass and shoot rainbows all over the living room. This has never ceased to amaze my 5-year old daughter who will shriek, “THE RAINBOWS ARE HERE!” as she literally dances through the scene so that beams of color are cast on her hands, clothing, and hair. You can be having the WORST day, but when she calls you over by name to come see the “biggest” and “most colorfullest” of the rainbows, it’s impossible to avoid getting sucked in to her joy. So I guess that door is staying!

    • Jen says...

      That is so beautiful. What a wonderful mom you are to keep the door. 👏🏻

    • Rani says...

      sounds just like Pollyanna :)

    • silly lily says...

      At a certain time in the evening, the setting sun hits the mirror on my dining room wall and bounces into my family room, creating little rainbows over many areas. My grandchildren call this Rainbow Hour, even though it only lasts a few minutes — wishful thinking, I guess. I have photos of each of them with a rainbow on their face. It only happens in the Spring and Summer and only a couple of weeks ago I sent a photo to all of them to announce that Rainbow Hour was back. It’s funny, the traditions that you could never have even imagined, but someday you find them to be very special cause they belong only to YOU.

      You might be able to replace the door and keep the rainbow. As in my house, a strategically placed mirror could work; also a small piece of stained glass in a window or even a small disco ball……it just needs to be reflective. And your daughter might have fun, walking around with one of those objects and discovering where it has to be to “catch” a rainbow. In any event, I hope you continue to enjoy this time — it’s so special.

    • Claire says...

      I would like to take this opportunity to advocate for hanging crystals in sunny windows (an under-utilized decorating tool!). I have 2 in my house- 1 in the kitchen in an east-facing window so there are rainbows in the morning, and one in the master bedroom that gets hit with sunbeams in the late afternoon. Seeing them throw sparkles and rainbows across the rooms is one of my greatest pleasures.

    • Madeleine says...

      I have 3 clear faceted crystals hanging in front of a window. My grandchildren love them and we can have up to 20 rainbows ranging from the ceiling to the floor. We also talk of ‘the rainbows are back’. What is amazing is that the colours are inverted – red at the bottom as opposed to red at the top when sun shines through water, when red is at the top.

  33. Amy says...

    My 11 month old LOVES Eric Carle books. The colors and simplicity of the photos must stimulate her in a way nothing else can. She also loves her older sister’s sippy cup.

    My almost 3 year old LOVES helicopters (and the way she says “helicopter” is the sweetest), “Elsa dresses,” baking with her mama (it’s so sweet, it makes my heart hurt), and going for car rides with her dad.

  34. Molly says...

    FaceTiming with my mom’s cats! My 1yo hears a meow and will toddle over to the phone just to see the cats.

  35. Lauren says...

    The moon coming out during the day is a wonder that never gets old.

    • Joanna F. says...

      Same with my son! He loves this.

    • Sarah says...

      We call this a “children’s moon,” because the moon is staying out to say hi to all the children who are asleep before dark. It really does give a spark of joy!

  36. Ramona says...

    Bubbles
    Sidewalk chalk
    Puddles
    Car Wash
    Whipped cream…in a can!
    Candlelight

  37. Shannon says...

    We just got a coocoo clock for my husbands birthday. You can program it to sing a different bird song at every hour and a bird comes out of a little door, the whole shebang. My five-year-old set timers for himself and runs to stand beneath the coocoo clock to wait for the bird to come out. He’ll yell for the whole family: “The bird is coming!” It’s so sweet to watch.

    • Maggie Horn says...

      That sounds so cool, could you share where you got the clock?

  38. celeste says...

    That picture of Anton is so adorable!

  39. M says...

    My girls are 5 and 3.
    Both of them are super smart and fairly well-rounded, but if they were left completely to their own devices, I get the sense that they would practice just one beloved hobby: tying things to other things in seemingly nonsensical ways with ribbon or twine, and then carrying them around dangling. They find this extremely fulfilling.

    • Nina says...

      My kid too… Loooong strings of teddies tied together preferably, then dangle them off the stairs. I find it a bit macabre, the younger kids downstairs love it.

  40. 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. :)

    • E says...

      Yes! My 8 month old flips for water too!

  41. 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

  42. 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?

    • A says...

      Don’t even wait til he’s older! My 1 year old has a little ukulele that looks pretty similar to this, that he’s had since about 9 months, and he’s obsessed with it! Every time dad gets out the big guitar, baby crawls over and gets out the little one <3

  43. Grandma Tricey says...

    Raindrops on the pond in our backyard

  44. 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.

  45. Auuuuuuuwwww……amazing how kids can do wonders

  46. 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?”

  47. 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.

    • Haha me too. The receptionist at my old chiropractor’s name was Happy, and she was, seriously, the most cheerful person. I loved interacting with her. :)

  48. 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

  49. 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??

    • amanda says...

      It’s funny you should bring that up because I just realized the other day that
      we now swear as a family (my kids are 15 and 18). I’m going to take it as a parental rite of passage and let me tell you, it is quite glorious to no longer have to expend the energy to monitor your kids language and curb your own, ’cause…bigger fish to fry!

    • AE says...

      I think if the concern is unladylike, then you should go ahead and say why you want (calling anything unladylike is just another way society binds women)! Growing up, my parents didn’t curse at/ around us but every now and then I’d hear my dad mumble “SOB” (the full thing) under his breath which was hilarious. Ultimately, it’s just all part of the language we speak. I feel like if you forbid words, it just makes it more tempting to kids. You can explain that there are a million ways to express disappointment, frustration, etc and maybe encourage them to be creative in finding those words and phrases versus leaning on the easy, common curses (the Fs, the As, the Bs, etc). Ultimately (aside from slurs), it’s all fair game- even more so if you refused to be burdened by the “lady likeness” of it.

    • Rita says...

      I agree with AE in her point of view. I grew up in a very social facade family and now me and my mother talk some nonsenses with some swearing in the middle and is so liberating.

    • Tami says...

      My 8 year old son is obsessed with curse words (He’s heard a few when Daddy’s driving/gets frustrated) and constantly asks what the “A” word is or the “F” word, which ones are the worst, etc.
      I try not to get too freaked out about it but now he’s figured out the appropriate time to use them.
      When I told him the other night to brush his teeth he said, “Oh S word!” and when someone cut us off on the road the other day he said, “What an AH!”.
      Good times.

    • Agnes says...

      I say to the kids I work with that swearing is for emergencies. Using it in every day conversation is a little disrespectful to my ears, shall we say ;) and saving a good ‘FKKKKK’ (screamed) when something awful happens just makes it all the more cathartic.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. Jodie says...

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

    • Loren says...

      I’m a pediatric occupational therapist and a game I play a lot is pretending that the kids are on a rocket ship, being intergalactic astronaut police. One day I asked a four year old if he saw any bad guys robbing banks on Mars. He said, “No, but I see some roller skating on Uranus!!!”

  53. 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.

    • My 2 year old loves “wonder and wightning” (thunder and lightning), deoderant, and walked around with 2 brand new green bars of soap today rubbing them delightedly on the window and sofa, etc.

      She also loves a glittery green dinosaur that stands outside and belongs to our neighbor and says hello to it on our walks.

      She is also obsessed with the bear hunt song on YouTube and had a nightmare about going on a monkey hunt lol.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

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

  57. 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 ?

  58. 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!

  59. 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!!