My house frequently looks like a daycare center; toys are scattered throughout. I say they're toys, but to the uninitiated, they might look like trash. Vacuuming becomes an exercise in, well, exercise as I bend and stretch to pick up the accumulation of treasures Ralph has deposited in all rooms. Ralph is easily amused, and needs no help to find playthings. One of his favorite activities is knocking things off and/or over. No counter, shelf, or table is safe. The dining room table is really only used for company and so I write cards and letters there. Pens and pencils don't stay long. Plop. Coins on the bathroom sink. Clink. Big, thick rubber bands from the broccoli. Boing. Slow in putting the bow on a package. Rustle rustle. Plastic tear strip. Scritch scritch. All day long I hear thuds, thumps, and crashes from another room and wonder what he's playing with now. I find the darndest things in the darndest places. Ralph bats his toys down the stairwell, thunders down after them, only to haul them back up so he can do it again. There are some real toys in the mix, little stuffed critters that he drags around, but his true enjoyment comes from those odds and ends.
Yesterday I discovered he'd knocked over a ceramic pig, breaking off one of its ears. Taking the pieces into the kitchen, I dug the superglue out of the junk drawer to put the poor pig back together. I did not count on Ralph's supervision. If I'd had a go-cam, the video would have gone viral. Top off the glue. Bap! Onto the floor. I retrieve it. We did that a couple of times. Open tube in hand, I dab glue on the tiny ear piece. Now I'm in a quandary. I need two hands to put the ear on the pig, but if I put either the ear or the tube down, I know where it will go, and I can't face a superglued cat. Ralph is determined to help. I don't want his help. I'm shouting (and laughing) and trying to elbow Ralph out of the way. "No, Mom, I can do this. Trust me!" I hide the tube of glue behind a canister and turn my back to hold the broken pieces together. Ralph is having none of that and stands with his front paws on my shoulders, watching to see that I do it right. "Brrrp, brrrp! A little more to the left, Mom, move it more to the left." Okay, so the pig's ear is a little cattywhompus, but at last check, it's held together. Until Ralph knocks it off again.