Like most phases my boys have, I can trace the box phase to an uncle. I don’t know if this is normal in most families or if trouble only runs deep where my brothers are (which it just might be the later). Evan had a box phase, and now Sean is entering into his without any prompting by my brothers, though we are visiting them this weekend and who knows what new phase my brothers will create, like the boxing phase or placing toys in one’s mouth to spit them out again.
When Evan was just over a year old, my brother placed him in a FedEx box and scooted him around the room. Evan loved this. From that day on, he would sit in his box to watch TV or play content in his little box where he had only enough room to fold his legs. He didn’t care if I was around or not. When my brother, who was living with us for the summer, came home from work, Evan would run to his box, pleading for his uncle to push him around. It wasn’t long before another “uncle” ( a close family friend) started pushing Evan around in the laundry basket. Boxes are so cool.
I thought that this phase with uncle-induced, but the other day I watched Sean dump out a small crate of toys on the floor so that he could climb into it. He snuggled in to watch TV and to play with the toys he just dumped as I left him to take a quick shower. Sean didn’t care that Evan was jumping on the bed; he didn’t care that I wasn’t there to play with him. He was perfectly content in his little crate.
The problem with this box is it is in the master bedroom, and it’s the box I keep all the toys that wonder into our room. (How I wish for a non-toy room.) Yesterday Sean was snug as a bug in his box when he realized he was a bit lonely and wanted to play with someone. He started shouting for Evan, who was content to ignore Sean as he emptied the DVD shelves of all their DVDs. I was trying to put things away, moving from one floor to the next, watching this little interplay and wondering what I can do to keep the boys from dumping the DVD library.
So what I have discovered on this new phase in child development is that it occurs between one and two years. The child must be able to walk and climb well as to be able to maneuver in and out of the box with ease. This is very important because the child will panic if he (I haven’t seen a girl do this, but my research is preliminary.) cannot get out of the box, which just ruins the fun. The child is very content to stay in the box much longer than an adult would want to squeeze his/herself into a box with enough room to fold his/her legs. It an interesting moment as the child has learned to play by himself, allienating the mother. They tend to grow out of this phase when they can’t find a box to fit into anymore. Granted, once they get to bigger boxes, they have all kinds of fun.
Stay tune as I explore the developments of childhood. Perhaps if I discover enough new phases I can have a whole system of child behavior named after me. Wouldn’t that be awesome?