At Target yesterday I let Heidi go shop for whatever we actually needed so I could occupy the boy and get an idea of what he'll want from Santa Claus. We started by checking out the baseball bats in the sporting goods section.
He's 5 and won't start Little League until the spring but he absolutely loves playing Whiffle Ball with me out back. For a while this summer he was so singleminded about playing baseball each evening I'd actively begun seeking out alternatives to save my beaten-up legs for running. Legos? Play-Doh? Soccer? TV?
On the shelves beneath the baseball bats was a combination batting tee and automatic pitching machine. "This is good," he said. "I can play when you're not around."
Let's move on to the toys, I told him. I'm not ready for that day yet.