Oh man. My toddler son is dabbling in entomology. Also ichthyology. And if you’ll indulge me, he’s quite the budding primatologist.
Normally I’m quick to take credit for any and all of our son’s cognitive flourishes. (Did you hear him say “stethoscope”? I taught him that.) But Fox’s zoological sophistication can be credited to his mom.
Nary a week goes by that Sarah doesn’t bring home some TOOBS®. These are collections of miniature figurines that come stuffed into plastic (brace yourself) tubes.
It is a testament to my appreciation for TOOBS that I not skewer them for the intentional misspelling.* But if they wanted to be all phonetic, I would have advised calling them TOOBZ. The Z would appear tongue-in-cheek instead of pandering to illiteracy.
But I digress. They could call their product PUBIC LICE® and I’d still look forward to my wife bringing home a new batch. Each tube costs around $11 and comes with an assortment of impressively detailed replicas. In fact, urbanites who procure the Insects Toob will want to discard the cockroach. It’s way too freakin real.
When our son exhibited a passion for monkeys, Sarah got him the Monkeys and Apes set. In addition to the expected chimp and gorilla, it also came with a mandrill, lemur and capuchin, among others.
The variety may not seem like a big deal. But prior to Toobs, our son (at 18 months) had primarily seen cartoonish renderings of animals. The different species in the Toobs monkey set convey the biological diversity of hominids in a way that’s fun, engaging, and tangible.
My son is even drawing sensible conclusions about differences in the habitat and behavior of disparate animals. He’s been stashing his bumble-bee and butterflies in our plants. And as of two days ago he’s taken to submerging the seahorse and sharks in our dog’s water bowl. Then again he also puts my keys in the water bowl, so…
Lately he’s taken to posing the figurines in bizarre groupings around our apartment. Sometimes I’ll go to shave and it’s like the Blair Witch left some freaky-ass voodoo on the edge of my sink to startle me into cutting myself.
The array of collections is astonishing. They actually make lots of non-animal replicas, like trains, trees and Powhatan Indians(?). My wife got the Bundles of Babies Toob and to be honest they sort of freak me out. But
I’m my son is primarily into the animals. I’m secretly hoping Sarah will bring home the Venomous Creatures and Glow-in-the-Dark Insects Toobs. (That is a hint… to be taken by either my wife or the marketing people at Safari Ltd.)
TOOBS are made by Safari, Ltd. All products are free of phthalates and lead.
Safety disclaimer: TOOBS are not recommended for children under three. I think this is the company erring on the side of caution to appease regulators and juries. However my wife occasionally picks out potential choking hazards. (Any thing dime-size or smaller.)
Secondary Safety Disclaimer: One of the first things our son does each day is dump all his animals on the floor. Their migratory patterns range all over the apartment. When stepped on barefoot, TOOBS will impale your ass like goddam Punji spikes.
Tertiary Safety Disclaimer: If accuracy is important, I should point out that the boobs who make Toobs are prone to the occasional typo, like when they labeled their “leopark shark.”
* Two of my biggest pet peeves are 1) when commercial entities foster illiteracy with dumbed down spellings like nite, e-z, and glo. Also 2) the expression “pet peeve.”