Y’know, there are a lot of things I love about my new nephew, but I think from 500 miles away, the thing I get to enjoy most about him is the excuse he provides for me to hang out in toy stores, browse the children’s sections at bookstores, and just generally indulge my innate magpie tendencies.

Take, for instance, the purchase I made on a recent trip to Kiddlestix here in Tulsa. Kiddlestix is a wonderful mom-and-pop toy store that sells a lot of educational toys. I had gone there in search of a Sea-Monkey kit, which I purchased as a belated Christmas gift for my reporters. (C’mon — admit it: You’d love it if your boss bought you some Sea-Monkeys.)

While I was picking up the Sea-Monkeys — which, for the record, hatched on Thursday and seemed to be thriving when I left the office Friday evening — I found the most gorgeous hand puppet I have ever seen.

Hand puppets are a great way to interact with babies. If they’re colorful and have shiny spots on them, so much the better. So of course I had to buy this puppet for Jamie.

Now, truth be told, I probably would have bought the puppet even if I hadn’t had a 3-week-old nephew to entertain with it. But I would have looked like a big dork, buying something like that for myself.

Same goes for the Maurice Sendak books I bought today at Borders. I was looking for something else, but of course I got sidetracked and ended up in the children’s section, where I found a great little set of tiny but complete books that included Pierre, One Was Johnny, Chicken Soup with Rice, and Alligators All Around. How could I resist? I’ll be shipping those out Monday. πŸ™‚

I really want to buy one of these for Jamie next. Or maybethis. Or this.

I wonder if they’d give me a discount if I just called up this company and ordered one of everything they make? πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Playtime”

  1. is a neat site also. I didn’t see reversible puppets like you used to be able to find. I remember one that was a wolf that reversed to a grandmother for the little red riding hood story. Wouldn’t it be neat to get a couple of washer or dryer boxes and make a playhouse that could have a puppet theater as one of its exterior walls? Another wall could be a schoolhouse, a third could be just a house and a fourth might be a firehouse or police station or something else. I can see now that this kid will not be handicapped by lack of imagination if we can help it…Gee, I have really missed having an avenue for this kind of stuff. I think I have been suffering from brain constipation for the past 20 or so years…

  2. Liam LOVES hand puppets. Loves them. Socks, oven mitts, it’s all good. Spent ths greater part of his pre-preschool Christmas party waving at my hand disguised as a whale and saying, “Hi! HI!!!!” So his Uncle Dan … excuse me … SANTA came to Uncle Dan’s and left Liam a Brer Rabbit hand puppet. He has a little green corduroy coat with tails and striped pants. Liam talks to him and gives him checkups with his new Fisher-Price doctor kit. Which now comes with a fake digital thermometer and not the fake mercury kind with the candy-cane stripe inside. But I digress. Puppets are tha BOMB.

  3. Oliver used to play doctor with a little toy stethoscope. He’d listen to his sister’s arm intently for a few seconds, then announce, “You have LEPROSY!” Too many Bible stories in Sunday School, I suppose…

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