Step 1: Get very furry cat.
Step 2: Make it reach for toy in the air.
Step 3: Success!
One thing that’s nice about Stockholm is that when you lose something, about 95% of the people will put it somewhere in the hopes that you will find it. (Not like in Texas where someone sees a hat and goes, “Now it’s MY hat!”)
During the fall and winter, you can find many gloves hanging from tree limbs. When people find lost ones on the ground, they hang it on something eye level so that the person who lost it will hopefully see it when they walk that way again. In fact, I left a helmet outside in the park recently and forgot all about it until I needed it 6 days later. I walked over to the park and there it was, hanging eye level on a fence!
I’ve seen scarves, stuffed animals and even shoes on tree limbs or fences, though you think one would notice a shoe missing immediately. But last week I saw the best one ever. A dinosaur on the fence outside my work. Because even dinosaurs can get lost and need to get back to their homes… or caves…. or time machine.
I saw a commercial for a “new” Nerf gun. You know, the kind that shoots the foam darts? You had that around when you were a kid, right? Well they sell the exact same gun you remember, but now it’s “Zombie defense gun!” I watched the commercial. There is nothing zombie about this gun except for the “Z” on the side. This is the same gun that probably used to be called the Space alien gun, the G.I.Joe gun, the Terminator gun, or whatever was popular at the time. I think I’ll wait until next year when Werewolves are all the rage and get the Werewolf defense gun.
When I was growing up, there was a new water toy called the Slip-N-Slide that you could set up in your own backyard for hours of fun during the summer. One of my neighborhood friends had a nice, flat yard which was the ultimate place for the long, yellow tarp filled with water for kids to slide across. We had so much fun back there until his parents discovered that we kids had turned their beautifully manicured lawn into a mud pit.
After that, we had to move the Slip N Slide to my backyard, which was not so lovingly cared for. My backyard was full of bumps and rocks. A trip down the Slip- N -Slide would leave me with dark purple bruises daily. But that didn’t stop me or my friends.
Recently, we bought a Slip-N-Slide while in Texas so our kids could have the same joy that I did when I was a child.
I didn’t account for the fire ant problem in my dad’s backyard or the random rocks and sticks there as well. I’d say the amount of fun the kids had just about equaled the amount of bruises and tears. Glad to see they get to experience some parts of a typical Texas childhood.
What is the fascination with McDonald’s for children? Growing up in the states, I always assumed it was because they had playgrounds and funny characters. However, in Stockholm, it is rare to find a playground in a McDonald’s (maybe out in the outskirts on the highway) and they don’t seem to use the characters. My kids have no idea who the Hamburglar, Grimace, etc. are. They have also never in their lives seen a commercial for McDonald’s. So what is the draw? They are fascinated with it and it’s their favorite place to go. Apparently, it’s only for the plastic toy in the Happy Meal that they never play with 5 minutes outside of the restaurant.
I gave my kids a choice of two burger restaurants the other day and it was fun to listen to their decision-making process:
Kid 1: Mc Donald’s has toys.
Kid 2: The other place has a play center.
They were actually completely even on this and let a third friend make the decision.
Another idea – it seems to be that if you want to solve the obesity problem in the U.S., you should just give away toys with meals at nutritional places.