Box – The Best Toy

by Heligirl on April 8, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

The cheapest car wash in the history of the world.

Sweetness recently formed this very interesting love/fear relationship with the Costco car wash. Daddy takes her through it from time to time after a Saturday morning run to the mother of all warehouse stores. The response is rather interesting.

Now, you have to know Sweetness has this thing about loud noises. She covers her ears when she hears a fire truck coming, when she drops something from her chair, when she knows she’s about to get a stern talking to, or when her brother starts crying. (We find all of this rather ironic given her screaming is by far the loudest thing our house has probably ever heard in all of its 50+ years.)

So it didn’t come as a surprise that she just might not like the car wash. The first time Hubby took her through, he reported back to me that she “didn’t like it all that much.”

“What do you mean?”

“She pretty much screamed like we were ripping her arms off.”

So we avoided it until she got a little older and we could talk to her about it. “We’re going through the car wash.”

“Car wash.”

The screaming eventually settled to covering her ears and keeping her eyes slammed shut the whole time. I began to get concerned we might be setting her up for grand maul nightmares if we kept subjecting her to this torture. But then the weirdest thing happened. She came home and told me, “I had fun at the car wash.”

Hubby was surprised to learn this as she did her whole cover her ears and close her eyes bit.

She started talking about the car wash ever since. So that gave me an idea.

Sweetness seems to find the boxes her toys come in more entertaining than some of the toys that come out of them. This is an age old mystery. My dad likes to tell me about this Fisher Price airplane he got for me and was sure I’d be so excited about, and all I wanted to do was play with the box it came in. So I guess she comes by it honestly.

Noticing our mutual fascination with corrugated card board, I started saving boxes, figuring I might find some creative use for them. Well, sure enough, the car wash obsession posed an opportunity.

I took some scissors to a box just the right size for her Tonka cars. I cut a hole in the front and back, then cut slits in the sides for light to pass through. Then I cut strips of tissue paper and taped them inside the box so they hung down like in those brushless car washes. Finally, I made a sign at the top and, voila, a car wash for her cars.

Needless to say, this was one of her favorite toys for the longest time. She made the noises and everything and then proclaimed her cars “all clean!”And she hasn’t shown much aversion to the car wash lately. I guess the “toy” let her work out her issues with the concept. Sometimes I surprise myself.


ericka @ alabaster cow April 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

hi from MBC!

my husband and i give up on toys. we need boxes. in fact i wish we lived in a giant box but then again our daughter would just try to chew the walls 🙂

Susan April 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Great, creative solution!!

My little man loves to turn boxes into a variety of things. The most recent that I can remember are the Titanic, a Delorian (from Back to the Future), a variety of race cars, boats and, fire engines; with his coup de grace being the box that came with our new stand up freezer that turned into, first a lighthouse, and then a fort (after it was cut down).

So happy for Sweetness that she’s no longer afraid of the car wash. My SPD radar turned on when you were describing her reactions to loud noises (and the fact that she’ll scream loudly herself). Those are the same reactions my auditory defensive son had at that age to loud and/ or unexpected sounds and crowds. But the box that helped Sweetness wouldn’t have helped my son.
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Twitter: Heligirl
April 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

Thanks so much. This was over a year ago, and she still isn’t very fond of the car wash. She doesn’t scream to herself, but does cover her ears. She still doesn’t like sudden and loud noises, but she handles them better now. And she still loves playing boxes. We have a lot of fun imagining now that she’s getting older and more creative herself.

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