Warm weather means that if we have any grandchildren around, we can have tea parties outdoors. The other day at Scout’s suggestion I made tea from what could be had in the garden: lemon balm and three kinds of mint.
Ivy and Scout and I sat on the patio with our little plastic cups of tea. Four-year-olds think the sugar cubes are the main event, and the toddler just wanted to put her chocolate kisses, cherries, and cubes of cheese into her cup.
When I had my head turned she put cherries into my tea as well. Soon she had moved on to the washing-up, which she liked even better than the dining (or soup-making) part.
Unfortunately, chocolate doesn’t come off with cold water.
Later in the day I sheared the alyssum and the kids tried to help with their little scissors. But the challenge of getting the piles of cuttings into the yard waste can turned out to be the most fun.
By the time Liam arrived a few days later, all the work was done, but he was well pleased with the toys and books galore. Little wooden people from his parents’ past were the most popular.
Some toys that I keep around you would not be able to find in stores anymore, because their parts are too small to be considered safe. If I had a child who’d choked, I might feel differently, but I am sorry that some of the most charming and fun playthings are now forbidden.
Remember Micromachines? We just ran across one of those this week and were amazed. They seem small enough for a child to ingest without much problem. Of course, I never would let the older children bring them out if there were crawling babies around.
This last toy that Liam is focused on was Kate’s 25 years ago. Many many children have enjoyed it since, but I am thinking of stashing it away so that all the pieces will still be there when her own children are ready to play with them down the road. This week she showed her nephew how to hit the little stick people just so, to make them bounce out of their holes. A good toy is a joy forever.