Kivel and Bits

By Steve Kivel

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My wife looked at me as if I were crazy. "There are reasons I did it," I explained.

"Children's toys don't have to be high tech. So much is made about giving your child infant stimulation. There are toys that talk and vibrate and play music with lights. There are toys that stimulate and cost more than my parents first house. I didn't have stimulation as a child, and look how well I turned out. My toys didn't buzz or light. My toys just sat there until my older brother broke them. My mother was a child of the depression. She has told us many times that her only toy was a lint ball she named Sally. Although she was just a lint ball, my mother loved Sally. My mother was happier with her ball of lint than any of her ungrateful children were with their fancy wooden balls they named Sally. My mother played with Sally everyday, until her older brother's dust bunny ate it. You see, toys don't have to develop brain synapses, they just have to be fun."

Okay, I wasn't completely truthful. I did have reasons for what I did, but it wasn't the avoidance of high tech toys. I should have just looked her in the eye and said, "I'm worried about pollution. Do you ever wonder what kind of world we are going to leave for our children? Every year Americans create a half ton of garbage apiece. 200 million tons of garbage dumped onto this planet (and that doesn't count the trash that comes from Washington). We have disposable lighters, disposable pens and disposable cameras. A years worth of my infant daughter's disposable diapers could create a small, smelly mountain. We must learn to recycle. We must find new ways to use our old trash." I should have told her that that's why I did it.

Yes, I should have told her that my love of the environment drove me to recycle my daughter's diapers. I took two diapers my daughter was through using and folded them into rectangles, (with all offensive parts inside). Then I made faces on them with magic marker. Finally, using small clothes hangers I fastened the heads to pieces of my daughters clothing. "Shiffer", (named because inside his soft plastic head he had shiffer brains) and little "P.P." were born. I basked in the pride of creation that Martha Stewart must feel when her house is decorated in little pieces of throw away foil.

I was putting on a puppet show, much to my daughters delight, when in came her mother. Shiffer and little P.P. had their puppet show cancelled, and I found myself trying to explain my child's entertainment to my wife. Well, I there are reasons I did it.

Okay it had nothing to do with high tech toys or pollution. The diapers were there and I was bored. I'll never admit that to my wife. As far as she is concerned I did what I thought was for the best of our child. Reality is another low tech toy to play with, trust me.


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