We have a toy that gets assembled no more frequently than semiannually. It's not the Big Loader or the Big Big Loader (both of which exist). No, it's the Big Big BIG Loader. It's not very hard (for an adult) to put together and get working. Addison could probably do it on his own by now. But it was Colin who wanted to break it out this time, his first truly conscious experience of it.
Once everything's in place, it's actually pretty fun to watch. Two front loaders (or scoop lifts), a dump truck, the top loader thingamajig (I'm not exactly a construction vehicle expert), and a whole series of machines that do some pretty complicated things for a toy intended for children three years and older.
Colin loves it. He can't stay still or quiet while he plays with it. But he also can't play with it. He dances around following the truck, narrates the action, and positively glows as the action unfolds. But if he touches anything, the whole process breaks down.
Being an active learner who loves to be part of the action and use his hands and physically engage his environment, Colin doesn't do super well with just standing by and watching. So, while this toy is something he loves, I kind of hate for him to love it. If he's near it, it will break. The well-oiled machine will not work. The system will become chaos.
But when I walk into the room and say, "Oh no, it's broken again!" he just smiles as big as his face can stretch and says, "Let's fix it!"
And that's just a great way to look at life, so he wins.