This toy, which we generally refer to as "Pooh" at our house, was given to Ted and me at our baby shower by our friend Beth, whose kids had loved it and outgrown it. Sometimes Arlo calls it a "lawnmower" because, you know, you walk behind it and push it just like you're mowing the lawn. Pooh spins around in place when you push it. That's all. (Well, okay, I happen to know that Beth disabled the clicking mechanism that was original to the toy, but we do not wish for more noise in the house so that's good.) Anyway,
Arlo LOVES it.
It's a fail-safe approach to getting him out the door to walk to day care in the morning, and a sure-fire way to not have to carry him all the way there. Arlo zooms along, pushing Pooh, stops and squats to look for cars before crossing the street (see Appendix to post below) and pushes Pooh right up to the spot in Tata's driveway where she parks the stroller. He parks Pooh, and wiggles up the steps to the door.
Yesterday, when we reached the top of the stairs, I opened the door and put my hand on the top of his head to guide him through it. Breathlessly, he reached up and pushed my hand away, and backed up a few steps to the threshold at the top of the front steps. He grabbed on to the rail, leeeeeeeaned out over the top step, and yelled "BYE, POOH!" while frantically waving his hand at the toy on the driveway.
And then--only then-- he was ready to start his day.
Appendix: When I first started talking to Arlo about looking both ways for cars before crossing the street, I would squat next to where he was standing, to get down on his level while we looked for cars together. The idea, of course, was that he would remain standing. How naive of me! Of COURSE he's gonna squat. And point. Because that's how Mommy does it, duh!