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Baby Tad

Why do all baby toys talk? When Caroline was a newborn, her vibrating chair had a little attachment with a lion and a parrot that lit up and sang songs when she pulled on the plastic figures. As she pulled and cooed, we'd find ourselves humming the tunes while cooking, doing laundry or even at work during a meeting. "Birds fly high and low...you can do it too!" would be in our heads at all times of the day.

When she outgrew the chair, it was then the farmer's tractor. Now this one was in my head in my sleep or better yet, during relaxation time in yoga class. Breathe deep. Clear your mind. "Old McDonald, THAT'S ME!" Clear your mind. Breathe. "EIEIOHH!"

My dad gave Caroline a LEAP Frog baby Tad for Christmas. Tad is special. The stuffed buddy is Caroline's new androgynous friend. Tad, who is marketed as neither male nor female, has lots of shapes on his/her chest to hit and that light up and play songs. Tad sings old favorites like Hickory, Dickory Doc and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Like all the other toys, you start to hum these songs over and over including all of Tad's little interjections, which gets me to my point that Tad is really a boy.

After singing a little tune, Tad says in a very sweet, sappy voice, I LOVE you and let's SNUGGLE. With these sappy lines I am convined Tad is a boy. These phrases are really little ploys to trick Caroline into thinking Tad really does love her. He's not saying it just to get her to snuggle. I know men and they are tricky even if they look sweet and cuddly. I can bet you that if Caroline and Tad continue their relationship for a few more months Tad will stop singing his lullabies and starts saying, I LOVE you but will you do my laundry?

Six months from now, Tad will be sitting on the couch watching football and none of his buttons will light up any more and he'll say he worked all week and won't feel like singing or snuggling when she asks him to. Caroline will be fixing him a snack on her play stove and muttering under her breath one of Mommy's simple but poignant favorite phrases, "Men."

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