My nephew T is one and a half years old. His best friend right now is a little stuffed frog named Konn (the Estonian translation for ‘frog’). Konn goes everywhere with him. When T reads a book, he holds it up so that Konn can read along with him. When they’re in the car, T puts Konn’s face up to the window so that Konn can see what’s going on in the outside world. I went out for a walk today with my brother and T, and when we stopped in at a coffee shop T thoughtfully fed Konn some pieces of his croissant (he didn’t seem to notice that Konn wasn’t actually eating any of them).
There’s just something so amazing about the way that little kids think stuffed animals are real. I remember feeling that way when I was young. I mean, just because something isn’t alive doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a personality, even if it’s only a construct of your imagination. I love that kids can so freely assign human attributes to inanimate objects. In T’s mind, he and Konn are the same, equals. When I hang out with T, Konn seems real to me too, and that makes me happy. Sometimes it’s nice to see the world through the eyes of a one and a half year old — a world in which it seems perfectly plausible that frogs like going for walks, reading books, and eating croissants.