The Mystery Box

Usually when I'm getting dressed, I let D play with scarves, belts, hats, socks...anything easily de-wrinklable and re-foldable, which buys me enough time to get ready without extra clean-up time. This strategy worked nicely until a few weeks ago, when D discovered boxes in our closet. Well, the boxes have been there, in plain sight, since before he was born, but he's recently learned that boxes tend to hold things, thus the interest in opening them. Or maybe now he's just tall enough to see the top of the shelves. Either way, this new-found hobby has been causing a little trouble for us, as the boxes--labeled things like writes, sews, knits, and counts--are filled with just the sort of work- and hobby-related items for which small storage boxes were created.

I've turned around to find bent envelopes, fabric leftovers, unspooled balls of yarn, and calculators strewn about. 

The most concerning example was the heals box, where D found all sorts of new things emptied from his dad's white coat pockets over the years: bandages, gauze, quick reference laminates, and...scalpels. Sealed in thus-far D-proof packaging, yes, but still, scalpels. 

I suppose a careful spring cleaning is in order; however, given that I didn't do that cleaning pre-D, it's unlikely to happen now. So, how to keep him out of scalpels and other unpleasant surprises? 

The Mystery Box! I raided my gift wrap stash (which I had wisely tucked away from my curious kiddo) and picked out a sturdy kraft paper box. A simple question mark has transformed it into a magical toy. Now when we go upstairs, I know I have a good 10-15 minutes of primping time while D plays with the box. 

The best thing about the Mystery Box is that anything that comes out of it is exciting, provided D hasn't seen it before. Turning forks, playing cards, an old wallet, pom poms...I don't need to buy anything new, just think more creatively about what I already have lying around. And if I ever do get to that spring cleaning, I bet I'll find a lot of items for the box.