Pushing the Mail Cart.
Before my daughter walked independently she walked dependently. And because this was during my manternity leave, she was my dependent. For the last few months of my leave my days were spent hunched over helping her walk.
My spine slowly curved with each passing hour. My lower back strained in a painful reminder that I was no longer young. Aided walking was all she wanted to do and she had tantrums if I refused to help.
I needed to stop the handholding. That’s where the walker comes in. Its official name is the Little Tikes Wide Activity Walker. It’s a terribly utilitarian name, and was likely the placeholder name before they could come up with a better one. They never did.
The Wide Activity Walker or WAW appears to be a replica of a mail carrier. Because children love pretending to have menial entry-level office jobs.
The WAW comes with three letters to deliver. The letters are already addressed. Seeing as how this is a child’s toy you’d presume the letters would be creatively addressed to an imaginary creature like Santa Claus. But no, they’re addressed to the Little Tikes head office. Probably to keep the address handy for when this product is inevitably recalled.
The toy is also strangely garden-themed. There’s a butterfly, a sliding bee, and a clicking caterpillar. They say it’s a caterpillar. It looks like a snake. Caterpillars have legs and are identified by little hairs. This caterpillar is neither fuzzy nor leg-sporting.
The wheels have adjustable resistance settings. I was unaware of this when I assembled the WAW. It came in pieces with vague instructions like I’d purchased it at a Scandinavian design superstore and not a toy store. I spent forty confusing minutes assembling the toy and affixing stickers to its frame.
The moment it was complete, I was quite proud and looked forward to relieving myself of handholding duty. I stood my daughter in front of the toy and waited for her to triumphantly walk forward. She took two steps forward.
And –if we’re continuing the garden theme –let’s say she face planted.