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I’ve been sorting through the toys in this house at a pace so slow any self-respecting garden slug would sneer down its nose at me. Nate is at least the thirteenth child to pass through this home over the last 40-odd years, and while I don’t mean to imply that everything ever owned by one of these children has been hoarded for future use, enough remains that there are small plastic bins of plastic toys that have probably not been opened since the days when elementary school kids knew who He-Man was.

So I’m rummaging through the shoebox-sized bins, weeding out the broken toys and stray puzzle pieces, throwing out the choking hazards and the cheap licensed-character toys that most offend my sensibilities, and gathering together similar toys for ease of both play and clean-up. All while keeping these out of Nate’s reach, at least until I make sure I’ve removed anything that he might be tempted to chew on.

Which is how I came to have a box mostly filled dismembered Mr. (and Mrs!) Potato Heads next to my bed. The staring, sightless eyes and the amputated limbs are making my stomach a bit uneasy, and the fact that a wiffle ball seems to be wearing the Potato Heads’ spectacles and Alvin the Chipmunk is spooning with a pair of voluptuous red lips does not help. I think I’ll put this box in the closet until I can sort it, and not watch Fargo again for a good long while.


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