For the sake of anonymity, let's just say that I happened to have this conversation with a small child sometime in my teaching career:

She was showing me the stuffed animal that she brought from home, and was forlornly explaining that the animal used to have shoes and a cute hat, but those got thrown away! My first thought as a parent was that she left them out when she was told to put them away and her parents got tired of picking them up for her and just finally tossed them. Kind of like I throw all those Nerf darts away when I find them around the house.

It turns out that I was somewhat close to the truth. She continued sadly to tell me that her mother just did not give her time to put them away, and then her baby brother was putting them in his mouth.

"Because he puts things in his mouth," she said, and then added, "He chews on everything." Then shook her head and finished up mournfully, "So my mommy picked them all up, and now I don't have any chokeable hazards to play with at all."

Yep - got to hate to not have any chokeable hazards to play with.

photo by by tassiesim on Flickr (Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial)

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