Sticker shock

I’ve noticed a few changes in my life lately that I never would have believed six years ago. I now say things like, “We don’t color ants,” to a toddler wielding chalk.  And to The Elder: “We don’t spit on ants.”

Meanwhile, my to-do list includes the item, “Order tadpoles.” Because the one thing this house full of males is missing is a litter of frogs.

But there are many bright spots. When I hesitate to open the front door, the toddler can be very useful. “I know,” he told me recently. “We need a key.” The kid has ideas.

Namely, that one corner wall of our playroom should be devoted to every last sticker he has been given, ever. And free stickers, while cherished, certainly seem to be in full supply in this town: At the overpriced lavender-laced-cheese supermarket, at the doctor’s office, in the hands of every police officer or firefighter or Trader Joe’s clerk.

So now what we have is a painstakingly layered wall of adorable toddler trophies – each a monument to yet another grownup who was slain by his cuteness. Which is a necessary attribute, when one spends his time highlighting ants, correcting grownups on procedure (“I said a blue straw!”) and generally refusing to go with the flow on pretty much anything. Except for collecting more stickers.—Jillian O’Connor

So, what do you do with all those stickers?