Skylar has recently become a very rich little boy: he now has two
Being able to have two toys to play with at any time has changed his life
tremendously. Back in the days of toys in the mouth, Skylar could
only have one possession at a time, and that was the one he was currently
slobbering over. When he got tired of it, he would have to lay it
aside to pick up another toy. But two toys. That changes everything.
He can put one in his mouth while he holds the other toy ready. Or
he can put the other toy in his mouth and hold the first in reserve.
Or he can just hold both of them while he decides which one he wants.
Two. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, along with the joy of any great discovery comes the realization
of consequences, of the price you have to pay for success. For
example, when Skylar had only one possession and he wanted a different
one, the exchange was simple. Throw the current toy and grab the
next one. With two possessions, however, Skylar now faces a very
difficult choice: Which of the two toys he currently possesses the red
block or the blue block will he discard to pick up the green block?
Green and red go very well together but then again, so do green and blue.
Or should he stay with red and blue? One can lose valuable sucking
time having to make important considerations like this, but its much
better than dropping the wrong toy and regretting it later.
Another consequence of being so rich is that Skylar has seen his ability
to get around reduced. Crawling with a block in each hand is a sign
of great affluence, but it does cut down on speed. Theres also
the problem of when the slippery surface of a block meets with the slick
surface of a throw rug. Suddenly the possession slips out in front
of him and down he goes, chin to the floor. Theres no crying over
an accident like this. The rich have more important things to worry
For a short while, so Skylar has learned, he can postpone his decision of
which two toys he will limit his possessions to by sitting and playing in
same area. Then he can have many, many possessions, all in a huge
mound. He can also upgrade to megapossessions possessions even
adults cant carry around like sandboxes or wooden train sets.
You wouldnt want to carry toys like this anyway. Except, of
course, if you want to play with the blocks in the sandbox. The
megacollection of blocks is in the bedroom and the sandbox is outside.
Moving the blocks can be done, two at a time.
I can hardly imagine Skylars delight when he discovers that he can
store possessions in his plastic push car. The seat comes off and
has room for at least four blocks. The push car is also faster than
crawling. And thats just the start of things to come. I used to
have a toy chest I dragged around when I was young so that I could dump my
blocks anywhere I wanted. But it wasnt until I was eighteen and
got my first truck that things really changed. I could carry everything I
owned, even all my megapossessions like my bed and refrigerator. And
then there was my first apartment that had a storage space down in the
garage. I could pack and pack and pack until I could hardly remember
what possessions I had.
The most satisfying leap was when I bought my first house. I laid a
plywood floor in the attic and suddenly I never had to choose between
possessions again. I could keep them all, from old college textbooks
to the National Geographic Society magazine legacy started by my great
grandfather (missing only the March 1962 issue which the dog ate).
Cardboard boxes, I have come to realize, are the toy chests of the truly
I smile when I look at my little boy and daydream about all of the things
he will be able to accumulate in his lifetime, about how soon his life
will be filled with so much more than two. Skylar, two possessions
in hand, looks up at me. Then he returns his focus back the red
block and green block he holds, locked in a difficult decision.
Because even for all his cleverness, he can still only suck on one of them
at a time.