At Williams Sonoma carefully studying a kettle

He’s a Little Teapot

I’m not exactly sure how it started. But some time while he was still 1, he began to love teapots and he was too young to explain it to me. I suspect that it was because he heard the song “I’m A Little Teapot” and saw some different videos of that song on YouTube. Maybe it was because it’s one of the most readily comprehensible children’s songs. (If you think about it, what the heck do some of those other songs mean??)

Most toy teapots are made for girls. They’re pink and have flowers all over them. I got pink teapots for him, because pink is just a color. He brought his pink teapots with him everywhere and they were highly effective chick magnets. Little girls would just come up to talk to him just to get a closer look at his pink teapots.

Then he became 2, then he became 3, he still liked teapots. Ok, maybe it’s not just a phase… But teapots were not stimulating enough, so he became equally obsessed with tea kettles. Interest-led learning is wonderful, so I used his interest to teach him about colors, materials (including different metals and their qualities), manufacturing, design, form vs function since he was 2…

At age 4, he’s definitely more interested in tea kettles than teapots, although you’ll still never see him turn a teapot away. He’s owned many teapots and tea kettles. I suspect that because his glass & ceramic teapots have often taken a tumble & the Humpty Dumpty factor left him disappointed. Besides, tea kettles offer a lot more to study. Tea kettles have cool levers, screws, maximum fill marks, whistles…

We spend many days, many hours circulating the many stores that sell household & kitchen items. 95% of the time, we don’t even buy anything. I just stand around while he inspects every single tea kettle and observes every little detail. I’m very impressed with the seemingly microscopic details that he notices, even the slightest design differences, even when the real-life kettle differs from its photo on the packaging box. That’s when I tell myself that all of the standing around is worth it. He knows all of the logos, brands and model names. It’s nice to be a little human who feels that kind of amazement for things that the big people just rush by everyday without giving half a look at.

Well, okay, my friend says that I fuel his passion for teapots. We’re in our second year of homeschooling so we always get involved in planning cool activities. With the leftover materials that I made for an activity on Picasso & Cubism, I made this for Wyatt.
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