It’s Not All Mary Poppins

I’m so Impressed

“We’re leaving the park in two minutes, Zach. Two more minutes to play.”


I wander round the sandbox, giving each child their two minute warning. By the time I get back to Zach, I’m ready to start loading them into the stroller. As I return with Alice on my hip, Zach is there ahead of me, busily tossing sand toys into the basket under the stroller. Completely unasked. Zach, I might remind you, turned two only a month or so ago. And further remind you that he’s just returned after a month away. He has remembered that this is our pattern, and is gathering our toys, all on his own. I am sooo impressed.

I praise him to the skies. And discreetly return to the sandbox all toys that are not ours.

September 9, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I am cracking up at that last sentence!

    What a lovely glimpse into your entire philosophy. I know so many parents/caregivers who would say, “Oh, Zach, great job, but these toys aren’t ours.” That “but” negates everything good before it.

    Comment by misfit | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  2. Great job, Zach!
    Great job, Mary!

    Comment by LoryKC | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  3. What a great story-teller you are! I remember learning than an artfully told short story defers the climax until the final sentence; you’ve reserved it for the final two words.

    Well done!

    Comment by Q | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  4. HA! So there’s where all of the mysteriously lost toys go! It’s Zach!

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  5. Misfit: One of those occasions where my natural optimism has me do the right thing without thinking. “He’s tidying up! And I’m going to criticize??” I think not.

    Thank you!

    Q: Thank you. A writer always likes to be praised for their craft.

    Crayonz: Zach for the toys, the dryer for the socks. What other mysteries of life are there left for us to solve?

    Comment by Mary P. | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  6. Do you spend the next few hours discovering little deposits of sand everywhere?

    Comment by Aginoth | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  7. Not as badly as you might think. Before I load them into the stroller, I take each of their shoes off, beat the living daylights out of it, take each little sock off, treat it similarly, wipe their feet off (but no beating them!), empty the cuffs of their pants, and, if necessary, take off their pants to empty all those annoying pockets on the legs. And, after all that, there’s still a teeny bit to be brought into the house. But not much!

    Comment by Mary P. | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  8. You can’t blame the little guy for trying!

    Comment by Matthew | September 9, 2005 | Reply

  9. You’re not suggesting it was deliberate, are you? Little Zach would never, no, I simply won’t believe it!

    Comment by Mary P. | September 9, 2005 | Reply

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