It is that time of year, with Lily’s birthday and Christmas both hiding behind good intentions, when a toy cull is in order. I have learned in recent days that the best way to do this is not to present a toy to a nearly-3-year-old and see whether they still like playing with it. They do.

Instead, I am learning to carefully weigh up what ought to stay in the house. It has to satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
1) made by a relative;
2) made by child themselves and worthy of posterity;
3) a ‘classic’ childrens book or toy which will bring hours of entertainment to parents and their contemporaries, whether or not children approve;
4) something Joseph will get some use out of in the coming months;
5) anything whose sudden disappearance cannot easily be explained or absolved.

Accordingly, on the way down to Felixstowe today (with two children and one bear) I was staring at some road kill and had to do a double take. I always stare at road kill and try and identify which species it is. Or at least the colour. It is how I learn what size packages things come in in nature and it is the least I can do for the poor blighter.

Between my house and Felixstowe, someone has thrown a cuddly puppy toy out on the road. I do not know who to be more distressed for.


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