In the Toy Aisle

Yesterday, Kiddo and I caught a bus and took a trip downtown to meet Joe for lunch. I love bus trips with the little guy. Sure, he's nearly four and weighs so much more than he used to, but on the bus we get the snuggle time life at home doesn't always make time for. We have our same old landmarks we talk about each time: the brightly painted Cuban restaurant which he calls "the colorful building"; all the roadwork equipment on lower East Burnside; the Burnside Bridge itself, spanning the Willamette; the 'beautiful gate' of Chinatown; and the grand destination, Carwash Fountain across the street from Big Pink, looking pinker and mauvier in the fickle sunlight.

We ran a few errands--made copies for preschool, stopped at Peets for the requisite tin of Malty Assam-- and then met up with Joe at his office to eat lunch in the breakroom. Kiddo is certainly my husband's child, they both chatty and friendly to no end, and Little Mister is quite the mini-celebrity there. After finishing my foodcart bowl of beans and rice, we headed out to search for my new mystery item: reasonably-priced cloth napkins. Stopping at Ross, my quest was met with disappointment, so we walked over to the toy section, as a few toys had caught my eye. They were too young for Kiddo; not that he'd know. He kept asking for toys that we'd had long ago and he'd lost interest in. Others were cheap plastic crap versions of better toys that we actually did have, and I reminded him of this. Then something in the next aisle caught his eye.

An Ironman toy.

Ironman? Really? I know the toys exist; I haven't seen the movie, but it's also likely that no child should either. I thought of the Black Sabbath song, and how, um, unhappy it was. The cover of the box showed a picture of Ironman in full close-up.

"I want that." said Kiddo, pointing to the box. Then he paused a beat and added "What is it?"

"What do you think it is?" I countered.

"I don't know." He still had that "I want that" look, so I asked him a question.

"Look at the face. Does it look happy, sad, or angry?"

Kiddo thought. "Angry."

"Yeah, he kinda does. You know, honey, we don't buy angry toys. They don't play nice." Then, miracle of miracles, out of the corner of my eye is a Matchbox-sized "John Deere" construction set, complete with dump truck, excavators, bulldozers, the works. 7 pieces, $8. Reasonable to me.

"Wow, look at this" I handed him the box of machines. "We could take this home and put rice in the bin, and you could play with these. Would you like to do that?"


Score one for Mama, one for John Deere. Ironman? I hope not to have to see you for a few more years. You might be some kind of ass-kicking bad-guy fighter, but I'm still the one who holds the wallet. And today, Kiddo came home all hot to ''play machines in the rice" again. I don't even know what he can do with a grumpy-looking plastic doll. Do you?


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