Hard rubbish collection in January may well make the pavements very difficult to traverse with an inquisitive (read- nosy) two-year old, but what a brilliant idea for the start of the year. If there is one thing that really helps the flow of good chi through your home, it’s getting rid of all that stuff that is past its best, broken or outgrown. I actually love getting rid of stuff, much to hubby’s dismay. I have a fear of clutter and collections. Bric-a-brac and ‘keep just in case’ make me nauseous . We have been holding on to Little M’s high chair since she refused to get back in it over six months ago. It’s been kept, just in case, we can persuade her to sit in it again. It is in some vain hope that we will be able to strap her down to eat, instead of this random roaming approach to meal times she has recently developed. It is, however, strange how excited she gets when we are out in cafe’s and she sees a high chair. She can’t wait to try it for size. But with hard rubbish collection this week, I bit the bullet and put out the high chair.
Well, every time we venture outdoors, it’s the same.”Oh my white chair!” exclaims a forlorn little girl. I didn’t put it out until Sunday night in the hope it would be gone Monday morning, but it is still there. She rushes up and pats it like it’s a mangy and discarded, but once much-loved, canine. Even passing the front door is eliciting pines of longing for the food stained thing.
Yesterday evening, as always, Little M. goes to water the drive way plants with Daddy and checks the post box. She comes running back to the house, yelling,
“It’s a purple dragon. On my white chair. Big purple dragon. White chair, Purple Dragon”.
She is almost exploding and leaping like she’s walking on hot coals. I am scooting around the kitchen on my knees with the dust buster, capturing the food scraps, from the evenings roaming dinner.
“Of course, a Purple Dragon”, I muse from under the table.
“Come see, come see!”
My husband is smiling wryly, leaning against the door. I’m thinking, great, so now I have to abandon any hope of getting the kitchen back to some semblance of normality and chase a toddler as she rummages through the growing hard rubbish in the street imitating Gollum “My precious….rag, antenna, cardboard box”, or some aggressive cartoon seagull, “Mine, Mine, Mine”. This is not going to end well. I huff up the driveway behind her, still hopping and yelling “Purple Dragon”. I pause, steady myself for the whole imagination role play, “Wow! What a wonderful Dragon, isn’t he beautiful, what is he doing in our chair?…blah, blah, blah”.
I start around the corner and there he is – A plush, vibrant, nearly as tall as Little M, brilliant purple dragon!
Just sat, on top of the mounds of broken and discarded bits of pre-christmas household stuff, secure inside a dirty and well-faded white plastic high chair. I’m not sure if it was me or M. who was now yapping with excitement the most. We pulled him out. I gave him the quick once over. Not a mark. Not a tear. Not a single stain.
M. grabs him by a horn, and starts off with him back down the driveway, jabbering to him as she half runs, half trips, with excitement. She can barely make the whole journey back down the driveway (he is that big) before I have to help her and grab a second horn. He is unceremoniously bundled through the door onto the play mat.
“You are hungry. Would you like apples and pears and cake? Oh sit there. Here, apple and cake. Birthday cake, with candles. Here meet horse, he’s your brother. He shares apples with you…..” The chatter goes on and on and every toy has to come and meet him. The toys, so neatly stored away before dinner are pouring out, all in excitement to meet their new brother.
“Where has he come from?” I ask as I sit down amongst the chaos of play food and soft toys. Little M. is such a chatter box for a 26 month old. I barely get more than a few words out these days before I’m interrupted with a barrage of language.
“The castle, he’s come from the castle. He is instead of the white chair. He has come to live with us and eat apples, pears and cake. Yummy. Here, meet your brother. Give cuddle.” Purple Dragon is thrown onto my lap. “Hello” I mumble. I sit in the nosy chaos of what should be the pre-bedtime ‘slow and calm time’ thinking, Thank you. Thank you, kindly neighbour, whoever you are. You have seen my struggle and heard the whines and pleads for the white chair, and you have somehow created a bit of magic for this little girl, out of all the rubbish. I don’t know who you are, but I know you know this little girls routine and have left this gift just for her. It is pure kindness. A New Year’s slice of wonder for a toddler, full of growing imagination. The kindness of strangers does exist. “Hello, purple dragon, can I share your cake?”