I've only been back a couple of days, but in just a few hours I'm getting on another plane, this time with Rusty and Sam as we head back to Ontario to visit family. I'd be bitter about the five hours of missed reading time due to wrangling a busy two-year-old, but fortunately I had my shot at uninterrupted reading last week, and I know when to step back and be grateful.
No, this flight is going to be all about Sam, and in case you're wondering what to pack in your carry-on for a toddler, I'm here to tell you: whatever works. This is not the place for progressive boy-dolls or wooden puzzles from Europe or whimsical storybooks with gorgeous illustrations, no matter how much you yourself might love them. In-flight entertainment is all about pandering to their most obsessive-compulsive whims. Don't try to fight it.
So you can imagine the scene in the bookstore early today when Rusty and I were trying to pick out new books with which to surprise Sam once we're buckled in. Has a kid's psyche ever been this scrutinized by his or her parents? Well, probably. At any rate, here's what we decided on:
Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?
Some of you may recall my strong sentiments about one of Scarry's other books, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (aka "Purple Story"). Well, Sam loves Scarry, and I love Sam, which pretty much makes me Scarry's bitch. What can you do?
Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford
To answer my own question, I may not be able to do much, but I can throw a curveball at my short friend. So you like hunting for Goldbug, do you, Sammy? Have you met my pal Waldo? He likes hiding, too. Go on, look for him. I'll be waiting over here.
Dr. Seuss's ABC
This, of course, is pandering to Sam's insatiable desire for all things alphabetical. (Plus, I've been meaning to pick it up for a while.)
At a Construction Site by Don Kilby
For several months now, Sam is going through that important early childhood rite de passage known as "the heavy equipment phase". Much as it shames me (not really) to admit it, I'm totally exploiting his obsession in order to buy (or at least rent) myself a half hour of peace.
And when that half hour is up...
Big Trucks and Diggers in 3D by Mark Blum
What's better than construction machines in two dimensions? Do you even need to ask? This book is published by the good people at Caterpillar. And when Sam gets tired of it, we've got a JCB flier on standby. (You think I'm kidding. Ha.)