We've been to the zoo a couple more times and gotten Ben a couple of new pennies. This almost immediately brought forward the idea of how do we help him not lose them and keep track of all of them? So I decided to see what I could get on Amazon. I was able to find some "Penny Passport" books for a good price. A seller was offering 1 for about $7.80 and a set of 3 for $15 so I just bought a group of three. I figured, one for him, one for me, and one for Sam and we'll all do it together over time. Each album holds 36 pennies so I'll just get more as needed. They each come with 1 random elongated cent. I let Ben decide which one each one of us got. I have a feeling in a few years Ben might have some regrets when he realizes that he gave Sam the one for Roswell, New Mexico with the flying saucer on it, but he took the one from the San Antonio zoo for himself.
Recently Ben has been a bit spoiled by both his grandparents and us and almost every day he looks to see if there's a package that's been delivered with a "surprise" for him. This is partially my fault because for a few days we were getting several packages with things like water guns that he's finally old enough to start playing with. Expectations will have to be recalibrated but I'll deal with that later. But all of this meant we had to "find" the package on the porch (even though I'd gotten it from the mailbox earlier) and open it together.
All and all I'd say he was excited.
Later on, at bed time, he wanted to take it to bed with him. The next day, when they were getting ready to go to the children's museum, he wanted to take it with him to that.
I'll have to see if I can convince my wife to let me sneak a few extra the next time we go so I can catch up with him in the books / collection. (the wife: "It's not a competition." … "It totally is.")
I have 3 old elongated cents from my child hood from Moody Gardens, the San Jacinto Monument, and the Battleship Texas. I'd considered putting those in this new album. But, when I found them, I found that my younger self hadn't done a very good job with handling and storage and they all look a bit green. I'm considering excluding those, especially given their condition and just starting fresh, doing this with Ben and Sam.