Subtitled: My Daughters Toys May Be A Bad Influence.
Sub-subtitled: My Children's Plush Pushers.
We have four children, that you know already. But when you have a four children, you also lose a little bit of your sense of pride. Suddenly, you're willing to take anything anyone is willing to give, loan or throw away. You want some old clothes? Yes please! You want a kids drawing table missing one leg? Why thank you very much. Did you catch that sofa on the side of the intersate? Sure did, honey - I'll take a U at the next light!
Fortunately, people seem to love us (and by us, I mean my children. ... as for me, I'm tolerated), so there is no shortage of hand-me-downs clothes and second generation toys to enjoy. One of the people that I know (kept non-descript for obvious reasons) has been kind enough to share with us things their 13-year-old granddaughter no longer has interest in. To date it's been mostly clothes and accessories, but this last week was a sack full of old stuffed animals.
The girls were over the moon, so this weekend we dumped the contents out and held a draft, where each of them took turns picking from the lot until they were all gone. One of the ones that Genevieve was particularly excited about was a medium sized Orca whale. Your opinions on Blackfish aside, there's not much cuter then a smiling killer whale stuffed animal. Her only concern was a small tear in the mouth, but Gina was quick to tell her that the next available appointment for surgery in the laundry room would fix her new aquatic friend right up.
However, last night as I was tucking them in, there was more to be concerned about.
"Daddy," she said. "I think this whale is supposed to talk."
I advised her that was unlikely, but she was adamant.
"There's a battery pack inside his mouth," she persisted.
I took the doll and sure enough, when I squeezed it I could feel a hard, rectangle like shape just under the eyes. To her horror I jammed my fingers down the rip in it's mouth and fished around until I could feel the hard plastic piece. Even before I pulled it all the way out, I could feel the metal gear, the press lever. And as it came out I was holding a fairly new Bic lighter in my hand. Turns out we found out where the previous teenage owner was keeping a portion of her stash. Needless to say, after the girls went to sleep, I went back through and did a pat down on all of their "new" toys to make sure what ever the lighter was intended for was not hiding elsewhere in my childrens' rooms.
It was not. Sadly.
So now comes the uncomfortable conversation with the gift giver.
"So. .... your granddaughter. .... she might want to buy a Zippo next time."