My son’s interest in toys has gone through many phases during his 18 months of life, but the current one has to be the most adorable.

Not too long ago, a friend of mine and my wife’s gave us some toys her daughter had grown out of now that she was starting kindergarten. Among the blocks and various toys that came from kids meals at fast food restaurants was a little plastic shopping cart.

It’s exactly the right size for my son and he pushes it all over the house on a near constant basis.

The boy has long loved picking up his toys and putting them in containers, but this one is on a whole other level. In addition to being able to put a bunch of his toys in one place, he’s able to easily transport them. And he uses that to move them to a new room and then dump them all over the floor.

When he gets tired of playing on the floor and decides he wants to climb up on the couch with his mother and I, he’ll even try to bring the shopping cart with him. We’ve both been hit in the head with that cart a few times as he lifts it up onto the couch.

In fact, he so enjoys pushing this little shopping cart around that he often wants to take it with him when we leave. When it’s in the morning and we’re headed to day care, I just convince him to leave it by the door so he can get it when he comes back. But when we’re going to the grocery store or something like that and he pushes it up to the door, I’m half tempted to bring it just to let him push it around the store.

That would definitely get him plenty of attention from the other shoppers, and he seems to feed on that kind of attention. He hasn’t ever pushed the miniature shopping carts around that some grocery stores have because he’s been happy to just ride in the cart, but I’m sure I’ll have to set him loose with his own small cart sometime soon.

While the boy has a multitude of toys he likes to put in his cart while we’re at home, lately he’s been favoring the hard plastic interconnectable building blocks — not Legos, but the bigger version made for smaller hands. I assumed he liked the sound they made when he dumped them all out on the tile floor, but the other day I watched him putting them together to create different shapes.

He was pushing them together and moving blocks from one spot to another with great dexterity and I was blown away. It was no big deal for him, but I was amazed to see this little guy we’ve been watching over the past 18 months doing something so developmentally advanced, at least in my eyes.

He’s the right age to understand how to play with these blocks, but it was just a year ago that his only interest in the big rubber infant blocks we bought him was knocking over any combination I built. Now I’ve seen him make all kind of different shapes and structures.

Of course, as he’s still an infant, he’s not the best at cleaning up after himself, so there have already been several instances where I’ve stepped on a stray block with my bare feet.

And those things hurt way worse than getting hit in the head with a plastic shopping cart.

William C. Wadsack is the managing editor of the Herald Democrat and a first-time father. He never realized just how expensive children could be until the birth of his son. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @WCWadsackHD.