I love it when children’s toys can be put to a practical use.  Let me explain…

A few nights ago we awoke to a cold and misty morning.  There was a distinct chill in the air with touches of frost glistening on the blades of grass in the garden.  You could see the wind casually blowing the slowly dissipating mist to and fro and making the trees sway gently in the breeze.

Olivia and William had a date at a local playgroup that morning so, from the moment they were up and out of bed, the countdown was on to make sure we got there on time.

All was going to plan; both children ate fairly hearty breakfasts and were dressed with a minimum of fuss.  I put William into his cot while I finished getting myself and Olivia ready.  Again, all seemed fine.  But, when I went to get William about ten minutes later, disaster had struck – one of his socks was missing!

You might think I’m being a bit over-the-top about this, but William has an incredible knack of losing his socks.  At the very end of October I wrote about the mysterious disappearance of one of his socks.  That particular sock is still missing and since that post, another sock plus a bootee have also vanished.

I deduced that the only place this third missing sock could be was behind the cot.  I tugged as hard as I could to move his bed (it being an extremely sturdy, wooden thing) and managed to glimpse sight of his sock in the thin gap between the cot and the wall.  As an added bonus, another of his missing socks and the bootee were also there.

But how to get them out?  I needed to do it soon because we’d be late for the playgroup, but there was no way to reach around the cot.  I couldn’t get to them on my own.  What was I to do?

That’s when Olivia hit on a brilliant idea – Mr Shark!

As you can see, he’s a plastic toy fixed onto the end of a stick and his mouth can be opened and closed by pulling a trigger. We had bought him for Olivia on a trip to a Sea Life Adventure Centre and, until now, had only been used when Olivia fancied picking up tissue paper from the floor.

Reaching through the bars, he was just about long enough to get to William’s socks and bootee – hooray! 

OK, so Mr Shark didn’t literally save the day, but thanks to him we were only a few minutes late to the playgroup and he did save me…from having to buy more socks. And for that alone, I am forever grateful.

Have you ever used your children’s toys to pick things up / tidy things away / help do the housework? I’d love to know!