chalk it up to naivety, but while we generally try to keep things out of odin’s hands that might be potential choking hazards, neither of us had any idea how many of his toy cars have removable rubber tires. of course, as soon as he discovered that he could easily remove the tires with his teeth, it became something of an obsession. somewhat amusingly, after taking off the tire, he’d bring the car and tire over and proclaim with great concern, “oh no! broken!” at first, we tried to explain that, in fact, the car wasn’t permanently broken and we could put the tire back on without too much trouble, while adding that if he didn’t want to break the car then it would be best if he stopped taking off the tires. predictably this tactic led to a few rounds of us putting the tires on only to have them come right back off.
obviously, the concern about the car being broken is secondary to that of him accidentally swallowing a tire, which i guess we were doing a poor job of communicating, so we quickly switched strategies and told him that we didn’t want him taking the tires off because it might hurt if he swallowed them ( can you actually choke on a rubber tire that’s smaller than a dime? ), and if he took the tire off then we’d have to take the car away for awhile.
he looked at me and the car and walked while while slowly repeating, “car. tire. poppi. take. car. tire. poppi. take.”
for quite some time i heard him in his playroom, continuining to repeat the salient points that i had tried to teach him, and i was feeling very happy to have so quickly impressed upon him the importance of heeding my advice.
moments later, he confidently walked up to with the car and a freshly removed set of tires in his hands and said without hesitation and a mild sense of satisfaction at having figured out the the new rule, “poppi, take!”