Our new next-door-neighbor has a wonderful elderly Chihuahua named “Ezra,” and a delightful ten-month-old named Mary Grace. It’s sad to admit, but my children are absolutely wild over the dog and a big tepid toward the baby since she can’t walk yet and just gently waves and drools.
The children are all like, “Here Ezra! Come get a treat! It’s my turn to see Ezra! See how Ezra loves me better! Isn’t Ezra the cutest dog you’ve ever seen besides our Sophie? Come over here Ezra and see the bug house I just built,” and similar dog-focused prattle.
Never mind the cherubic baby gurgling pleasantly in the neighbor’s arms…
I figured Mary Grace was about the right age for Little People, though, and casually asked the neighbor if she had any of those grand toys yet, since her baby is an only child and probably had no cast-offs from anyone else. My neighbor was naturally thrilled at the prospect of one day owning a veritable menagerie of Little People zoos, villages, farms, train tracks, family homes, etc.
(Wait’ll she starts vacuuming them up, or Ezra chews on them creating sharp pointy spikers or they get inadvertently placed in the dishwasher where they fall below near the coils and melt, filling her kitchen with that pleasant burnt plastic smell.)
With all of their canine-focused activity I never dreamed that my children heard me offer the Little People toys to our neighbor. I was curious, however, the next day when Sue had pulled out the before-ignored bins of Little People regalia and peppered her room with animals and people.
“My you’ve got so much going on here!” I exclaimed upon seeing her room.
“Yes, Mama, see I do still play with these toys. I love them, and that baby next door will probably choke on the small parts.”
So lo and behold am I floored today when the boys begin racing the Little People school bus up home-made ramps…for like an hour!
Maybe I should offer their Latin books and handwriting practice tablets to the baby, too?