Train Time, Appropriately

On Wednesdays, a friend drives Ben to school and Eli gets a little extra play time at home. This morning, he decided to rebuild the chair-train that he and Ben used to make all the time; it’s been so long, he’d forgotten about this arrangement, and was clearly delighted with his own creativity. The blue plastic coal tender is a new feature, but then he needed coal. “Mama, what would be appropriate coal?”

I paused, a bit surprised by his fancy new word, and then handed him a ball.

He pounded it between his hands once or twice, and then put it in the “tender,” deeming it appropriate. I handed him another ball. Same response. I found another ball; into the coal tender it went.

Then we ran out of living room toys so I went to scout the play kitchen. “Would this make appropriate coal?” I asked, really unsure of his requirements, as I handed him some plastic scoops of ice cream. He regarded them carefully. “No. They are NOT appropriate.” “How about these?” I suggested, offering up the cupcakes that his godmother Libby made him. “Yes! These are appropriate!” He ran them into the living room one by one, shouting happily, “These are ap-pro-pri-ate! These are ap-pro-pri-ate!” The vacuum-sealed bag of coffee beans: appropriate (shiny and black, it’s arguably the most appropriate, despite its shape). The empty box of Hershey’s cocoa powder: not appropriate.

We had time for one ride — Eli, his little blue bear, and me — to the zoo, and then it was time to leave for school, where I expect he was able to continue his train play in some other appropriate way.


  1. Stacey says:

    Too cute! I love it when those new words appear. I wonder if you had done it all day if it would have become obvious…

  2. Elrena says:

    I love little kids with big words!

    Our latest around here is “indubitably” — which sounds more like in-doo-ba-bly, and cracks me up every time….