Seth is obsessed with anything with buttons. His favorite toy is our cell phones. We don’t let him play with them too frequently (we’ve had some drool-related malfunctions with the phones before, which we’re trying to avoid), so the fact that they are forbidden fruit makes them all the more exciting.

He’s also always loved playing with remote controls. So far, he hasn’t broken any of them, but we’ve separated the pile of controls into ones that he’s allowed to play with (devices that are easy to control using buttons on the front) and ones that he’s not allowed to touch (for devices where the remote control is the only way to use some functions).

For Christmas, he got both a toy remote control and toy cell phone. Both of them are among his favorite toys, and since they both make noise and have bigger buttons, they’ve almost entirely replaced his love for “grown-up” remote controls. However, he still loves our cell phones, because they are the only thing with a screen and lights – and sometimes, when Dad has been away at work all day, Mom can press magic buttons and Seth gets to hear Dad talk to him for a little while on the cell phone.

The other day I was letting Seth play with my cell phone as a way of keeping the peace while I changed his diaper. I check on the phone from time to time to make sure he isn’t making a call or downloading ringtones, but everything seemed normal. After the diaper change was complete, I took my phone back, and gave him his Sesame Street remote control. As he pressed the buttons, Elmo’s voice called out the numbers he was pushing. After some random button mashing, Seth settled into a pattern using the buttons in the upper-left and lower-right corner of the keypad, and Elmo started repeating, “9! 1! 1! 9! 1! 1!”

I think we’re going to have to be extra-vigilant about making sure our phone keypads are locked.