I am the proud new owner of six 18-inch rubber pigs. Let me back up and explain…
Last weekend, I met a friend and her son at Cafe O’Play in Stow. It’s always a favorite meeting place because it offers tons for kids to do in a safe, clean environment. The kids usually climb around and entertain themselves for a stretch of time, leaving a chance to actually socialize on a play date.
This visit was a bit different, though. While my 3-year-old son, John, did venture up into the play structure a few times, and he did hit the disco ball-clad dance room once or twice, what he enjoyed most this time around were squishy rubber pigs. Cafe O’Play had a multi-colored set of six rubber pigs, the perfect size for toddlers to carry with both hands — or in John’s case, one tucked under each arm.
He wasn’t the only one. At any given time that morning, there were between two and five children who were obsessed with these pigs. One of them was slightly less squishy than the rest, which led to many issues, trades and negotiations. While I still got to visit with my friend, for about 45 minutes I was playing pig referee.
John finally took a break and enjoyed the huge climbing structure after I told him I’d hold his pigs while he went up to play. My friend casually remarked that John would have to ask Santa to bring him piggies for Christmas.
And sure enough, three days later when a neighbor asked what he wanted for Christmas, John immediately answered, “Rubber piggies like at Cafe O’Play!” Since this is the first year he’s really understood and has gotten excited about Santa, I felt I had to oblige.
As it turns out, 18-inch rubber pigs can’t be purchased at that many places. I was so close to calling Cafe O’Play and begging them to tell me who their pig supplier was, when I stumbled across the website of a sports/gym class supply store in Toledo.
I’m excited to see the look on his face when John sees his rubber piggies. (I’m a quick study in the Santa department!) I’m also looking forward to our next visit to Cafe O’Play — now that we have a small herd of piggies at home, maybe next time John will take advantage of the labyrinth-like play structure and not be so concerned with the rubber swine.