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A Toy’s A Toy

I know at last what distinguishes man from animals: financial worries.  ~Romain Roland

Kyle's first Birthday celebration. Aunt Heather Piper
Our cousin, Heather, got Kyle a Home Depot car for his 1st Birthday.

Every year for Christmas the family pets always receive a gift or two, which I’m sure this is true in most homes.  This year, Pudd’in got the usual plush toy mouse with a bell attached to its tail; even though I am strongly opposed to the likes of that toy.  It looks surprisingly real in the dark or if spotted at a quick glance.  Seven and Scooby got their usual ropes to further their games of tug and war and a rawhide bone for each.  However, dad stepped it up a notch and got them both matching doggie beds.  Yep, both beds are laying in front of the fireplace in the living-room, usually holding two sleeping dogs.  Watching the animals get new toys is like watching a child with their new toy.  I mean, they really truly get so excited, after all Dogs Acting Like Children is something I’ve discussed before.

Recently, I busted Kyle playing with the dogs toys, and I don’t mean playing with the dogs along with the toys.  I mean using the toys as part of his Lego battles.  He wasn’t even paying attention that the dogs were in the room.  I simply mentioned, “You know those are the dogs’ toys.”  Kyle just gave me an ‘I know, but I’m playing’ look.

Nikki Ryan and Aunt Heather Piper 1981
Me, Nicole & Ryan - Christmas 1981

Kyle cracks me up, he can turn anything into a toy and use any toy as his own, even if it was meant for a four-legged pet. From the time Kyle was little, I would find Pudd’in’s toys as well as Jake’s (my brother’s dog who passed away a couple of years ago at the ripe old age of 18 years) together in the toy pile.  At a year old, Kyle would take Pudd’in’s rubber jingling play balls and prefer to play with them over his own building blocks and singing books.  Now that I look back at it now, that might have been just an ingenious move on Kyle’s behalf.  He always did love playing with the pets but Jake and Pudd’in, who were a little older when Kyle was just a tyke, wouldn’t give him the time of day.  So that might have been Kyle’s brilliant plan to lure the animals towards him, by using their toys against them.  Or, looking at it from another point of view, some of Kyle’s toys attracted Pudd’in, especially the toys that sat there and had things dangling from them.  Either way, Kyle has a long history of me busting him playing with the dogs’ and cat’s toys.

Kyle protecting the Lego's Death Star from Seven -Christmas 2011
Kyle protecting the Lego Death Star from Seven - Christmas 2011

Maybe I am taking a glimpse into Kyle’s future.  This past summer, after we mowed the lawn, Kyle and I went to the store to pick up pies for Devin’s birthday.  While we were in the shopping center, Kyle spotted the sign for Petco.  Naturally, marketing took over and Kyle recited, “It’s where the pets go.”  Then he went on and on about buying toys for pets, almost like he had it figured out down to a science.  He said, “People should bring their pets in and let them pick out their toys, ’cause there’s no sense in buying a toy if they aren’t going to use it.”  What a profound and reasonable statement!  But if I know Kyle, he was thinking of the toy suiting his fancy.  At least he’s enjoying being a kid.

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyObservation & ImaginationPetsReminiscing

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