By Lorry Myers
I worried from the start how this would end. We were in Kansas on a rainy afternoon babysitting/playing/cuddling with our two-year old grandson, Ivan. Ivan’s parents were attending a wedding so my husband and I packed a bag and off we went across the Missouri line.
We had planned a day trip to a nearby park where Ivan could ride his red scooter and slide down the slides and basically wear himself out, but now, the rain had washed away our plans. That’s when my husband, Ivan’s doting grandfather, spoke up.
“You want Pops to take you to the toy store? I’ll buy you anything you want.”
That’s why I was worried.
All the way to the toy store, I lectured Randy about making promises to a child that you might not be able to keep.
“You can’t promise a child anything he wants.”
“Why?” Randy asked. “He’s two…let’s just see what he picks.”
“What if Ivan chooses a motorized scooter or a shiny new bike or a machine gun that shoots rockets?”
“What’s wrong with those toys?” Randy asked, shrugging his shoulders.
“He’s not ready to be a driver, he already has a bike and his mother will have a fit about a machine gun. You just can’t promise Ivan anything he wants.”
“I can when it comes to toys,” Randy answered, rubbing his hands together, looking like a kid himself.
In the store, we started with Ivan in the cart but as soon as we got to the toy aisle, he wanted out. I sat him on his feet and immediately he ambled over to a truck. The little brown-haired boy turned it over, spun the wheels and made a noise like an engine.
Then he moved on; so many toys, so little time.
I didn’t intervene, I just watched as Ivan looked and touched and pointed to something on the shelf he wanted to hold. He knew the names of character toys and what buttons to push to make them talk or dance. His wide eyes studied the toy boxes like he could read the words and soon his arms were full of toys.
So were Randy’s.
Pops had been was running up and down the rows like a kid on birthday cake. He was actively offering Ivan toys for him to consider: remote cars with complicated hand controls, a five-foot Darth Vader with glowing saber, a race car track that takes up half a room.