As we entered Kohl's last Wednesday, Chris managed to pick up a stuffed penguin without me noticing. When we were at the cash register, he said - "Chris was good, want buy penguin." It would be his second, and his nonna has already bought him a huge one for Christmas. While I was deciding how to take it from him with minimal tantrum, my mom mentioned that it was a "Kohl's Kids" item, meaning the proceeds go to charity. That gave me an idea. I told him that we could buy it, but he'd just have to keep it safe until we could give it to a little boy who needs it more than he does. He said okay, and I assumed he had no idea what we were talking about.
When we got home from the store, he ran into the house and confused John by saying: "Chris bought penguin, keep safe, give little boy." I explained, and we chose a safe place to keep the penguin - Chris's crib, which is still set up in his room even though he's been sleeping in a twin bed for over a month (yes, we're lazy). So Chris ran upstairs and put the penguin in his crib.
After his nap we were going to see the Molnars for dinner, and Chris wanted to take the penguin. When I told him he couldn't, he asked to hug it once. I let him hug it, and he put it right back in the crib and said "keep penguin safe, give little boy."
Over the last few days, Chris has taken his job very seriously. He sings "goodnight" to the penguin each night and every time he decides it needs a nap. He made us put a blanket on the penguin. He won't let us leave a light on, even for a minute, if the penguin is "sleeping." He closes his door whenever he leaves his room and says "Chris close door for you" to the penguin. John even found him reaching his toothbrush through the crib to try to brush the penguin's teeth before bed. So for the last four plus days, he's been "keeping the penguin safe" without touching it at all.
This morning at breakfast John and I were discussing what to do for the day. When we came to no consensus, I asked Chris what he'd like to do today. He said "want give penguin little boy." We figured out that there's a Toys for Tots drop off at the Draper Place, a block or so away, and we walked over. He carried the penguin saying "keep penguin safe, give little boy." I explained that we couldn't meet the little boy, we'd just be putting the penguin in a bin, and I was afraid that might cause some problems. When we got there, he ran inside ahead of me, said "bye bye penguin, give little boy" and put the penguin in the big box right inside the doorway. When I caught up he said "Chris want hold penguin" again. I said - what's the penguin for? He said "for little boy" and seemed fine with it. We told him he did a good job keeping the penguin safe and asked if he wanted to get something else for a little boy. He said yes. Maybe I'll actually be able to go Christmas shopping with Chris this year.
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