Toilet humour among friends.

Last month some wonderful friends in Japan sent my kids a parcel containing, I am not kidding, some kind of fizzy lolly which is sucked through a straw from a small plastic toilet. Actually, they sent each of my kids three packs of these lollies, and each pack had a different-coloured toilet (one white, one pink, and one blue). The toilets had stickers so you can decorate them with eyes and moustaches and other features, and the accompanying note from our friends said that as soon as they saw the toilet lollies, they immediately thought of us.
Obviously, our friends are awesome, because who WOULDN’T like novelty toilet lollies? (I’m sure the answer is something like, “People with class,” but I think these lollies would tempt even the most elegant and refined of children.) My kids were rapt with their plastic toilets and set about opening all six packs at once, decorating their toilets with facial expressions, consuming all of the fizzy lolly stuff in a giggling frenzy, and then dancing around the house waving the toilets in the air and shrieking with glee. A good time was had by all. Later that night, I found two of the toilets in bed with my sleeping son, tucked under his covers.
It’s been a good four weeks now and the plastic toilets have definitely not lost their charm. My daughter is using hers as storage items on her desk – one contains erasers, one contains shavings from her coloured pencils (she likes to save them “because they’re pretty” and I hate it but at least now they’re put away tidily), and one contains random puzzle pieces whose origin we can’t determine.
My son, being four years old, is well and truly in the toilet humour phase of childhood, so his are used primarily for his stuffed toys, Lego minifigures, and plastic animals to, you know, go to the loo. The whole operation is very civilised, though – they do their thing, then they close the lid, flush, and go back to whatever it is that stuffed toys, Lego minifigures, and plastic animals do. Sometimes the toilets play with my son’s other toys – they have faces, after all, so they can talk. They are apparently good friends with his action figures.
My kids crack me up, and the joy that they find in silly things makes me happy. But what makes me happier is that somewhere in Japan, someone thought to themselves, “Hey, I know what we can do – we can make novelty toilet lollies! Kids will LOVE them!” and then someone signed this idea off, got it designed and manufactured and distributed, and now they’re stocked on store shelves for people like our friends to see and say, “Hey, I know who would love these!” and send to us. I love that whole process (particularly the image I have in my head of all these tiny toilets coming off an assembly line one by one).
If I could communicate in Japanese, I would write to the manufacturer and ask them to please make a matching sink, because then my son’s toys could wash their hands, too.
What I’m reading this week: chop chop

Brett McGregor, the original NZ MasterChef winner, shares his favourite Asian-inspired recipes in this yummy cookbook – and if you love flavoursome dishes it’s full of delicious ideas. All of the recipes I tried were pretty easy to prepare and liked by my kids – Prawns with Chilli Sauce and Egg Noodles, Chicken with Red Cabbage Salad, Meatballs in Curry, and Vegetable Green Curry were all hits. There are some more labour-intensive recipes that I admit I’m not going to manage on a weeknight when everyone’s desperate for dinner, but the dessert section looks divine – Thai Fried Bananas with Salty Caramel and Coconut Ice Cream, anyone?

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