How to Entertain a 17 Month Old

We babysit this weekend and decided “an adventure” of some sort was in order. After breakfast we checked out the toy box to find the perfect adventure hat. He put the safari hat on and never took it off for hours. If it fell off, he put it back on. (Said 17 month old’s father better be darn happy he didn’t stick with the first hat he picked out of the box … the black hat with the feathers worn by classy ladies in the 40’s.) When he picked that hat, it was then that I knew just which adventure we would go on … one perfect for that hat. But first, Gramma had to get ready and Grampa had to go get the car seat.

So, how do you entertain a 17 month old? It’s quite easy really.

1. Give them a plastic dump truck, a piggy bank, and some loose change. For a good 20-30 minutes they’ll put the money in the dump truck, then take the money out of the dump truck, put the money in the dump truck, take the money out of the dump truck — again and again and again. Then for the next 20-30 minutes they’ll be fascinated with that tiny little sliver of a hole in the piggy bank where the money has to be held just right to fit into — and that takes some practice. They’ll do it with such determination and all out seriousness … until you clap with each dropped coin which will result in that sweet little smile of self-accomplishment — but only for a fraction of a second — and then they’re off to get the next coin and start the process all over again.

2. How to entertain a 17 month old — Part II.

Take them on “a Safari” to the pet store. It’s a wonderful place to spend an hour. The birds are right at eye level, you can’t touch them, and a 17 month old doesn’t even think of taking one home.

And where else can you see so many fish, but more interesting than just looking at fish are the people buying and catching fish … now that’s a 17 month old’s idea of entertainment!

Why the rock formations for fish tanks struck such a funny bone is beyond me. Who can figure the mind of a child?

“Maam Maw!” (Yes, he says Gramma now! Well, sort of.) “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the waggly tail?”

You can meet the nicest people at the pet store. The clerks are so friendly and the shoppers with their pets are also friendly (with the exception of one growling dog that grandson growled back at). Everyone wants to stop and let the little ones pet their animals even if the little ones aren’t really interested in their pets. This is “Weiser” (an Australian Shepherd-Poodle mix) and he is interested. “O boy, a boy! Lemme go. Come on, (pant, pant, pant) lemme at that kid!”

And well, if Weiser is that interested, then the polite thing to do is share a little love, right.

Where else than the pet store can you find a really cool “play house” for only $169.99?! “Hey anybody wanna get in here with me? “Bam Pa?”

“Bam Pa. Can I have it? Can I Bam Pa?” (No, but thanks for asking.)

Gettin’ in was much easier than gettin’ out!

[Spotting another family] “Hey guys, there’s guinea pigs over here! Come on!” (Which he said to us several times, “Come on” while waving his arm, as we walked down the isles. “Come on.”)

Probably the best thing about going on Safari to the pet store is what it does to a 17 month old after they leave the pet store. I took his safari hat off and set it on the seat next to him when I put him in his car seat. When I looked back a few minutes later, this is what I found. Ahh, the sweet success of grandparenting! Sweet dreams Safari Boy!

Sydney, wanna go on an adventure?! Ok then, pick out your hat!

Megan - March 29, 2011 - 5:11 PM

How freaking ridiculously adorable!!! I LOVE his obsession with the safari hat!!!

We’ll see if Syd picks out a hat…so far it’s a short lived accessory. 😉

Linda Johnston - March 30, 2011 - 8:25 AM

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I think you might get the “Maam Maw of the year award” for your photographic genius–the commentary is as good as the pictures. But I think I still get “Hon” of the year for my massive quantities of cooking for the grands and their parents. (No wonder I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight–I should take up photography.) - March 30, 2011 - 9:48 AM

Linda, you always make me smile and so thanks for the strokes! And to correct what you said about cooking … well, you don’t only feed kids and grandkids … you’ve pretty much fed just about everyone I know and then some! Thanks “Hon,” and hands down, you have the best grandma name ever! Today is a good day. Smile. Mary

Aubrey Archuleta - March 30, 2011 - 5:59 PM

My boys love the pet store too. I am okay with, except for the smell, oh man! It stinks!

Kathy Jones - March 30, 2011 - 6:24 PM

Well – after a long hard day at work it was good to come home and smile at your pictures! Thanks Mary, you made my day. - March 30, 2011 - 7:37 PM

Nope, Pet Smart did not stink at all but I have been to some that have.

Sent from my iPhone

Amanda Pfeifer - April 5, 2011 - 5:54 PM

oh my goodness.. that face while pointing. the big “O” face.. is absolutely priceless~

[…] perfect in every way. If you would like to see his whole adventure, please check it out at “How to Entertain a 17 Month Old.”  It’s one of my favorite posts to date and I guarantee some big […]

Life with Kaishon - August 21, 2011 - 10:47 PM

You are the most fantastic Gramma! This outing sounds like so much fun. I also love your piggy bank idea : ) I can tell you love your grandbaby very, very much. Sweet post. LOVE your pictures. beautiful!

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