"We Don't Let Dorothy Crack The Eggs Anymore" Chapt. 23, "Christmas"

'Tis two days after Christmas
And thanks to wee girls and boys,
The parents are broke
And so are the toys.
The stockings that hung by the mantel are denuded,
The horn that once blew can longer to tooted.

You know those toys where you pull the string and they say things? Ha.

Christmas morning, after the mounds of wrapping paper and strings have been bunched into the overflowing garbage cans, busy little fingers pull and tug these talkative wonders into action.

Take the Shrinking Violet doll, who shyly squeaked, "I'm so afraid of people. I'm so shy, please take care of me." The record is stuck now and she says. "I, I, I -people, people, care, care, me, me." In another day she' ll be beheaded, thank you. And mute.

Battery-operated toys spell disaster. Although the supply of new batteries replaced the old ones (OLD? one day, that is!) whatever made that confounded robot move must have been a rubber band, because he's dead now.

You know the child who said, "You can take all those other toys you usually give me back because I only want a bicycle", and, much against your better judgment, you went out and bought one? Where did she cart off and leave the wheeled wonder?

"I forget."

That cash register bank you thought would cure the spendthrifty son because he could see the amounts of the begged coins mounting up--you counted on that, didn't you? Didn't figure he'd try to pry open the bottom and remove the loot? Ha!

And why didn't you give two dolls to the youngest instead of watching a tug-of-war between them render Dolly an amputee?

One item in this household remains intact. It has held their limited attention span for hours while their shrieks of delight pierce the neighborhood.

It is the box they found under the trash pile. A giant cardboard wonder in which they have been giggling, playing house.

If they stay there long enough I may be able to finish removing the "washable" crayons from the "washable" kitchen wallpaper.

Playing house, are they? They should know what it's really like for grownups, especially two days after Christmas...