Gideon was upset. I could hear him wailing in the upstairs bedroom where his mother and sisters worked to console him. I was in the kitchen working on dinner, a task I prefer a great deal more than consoling fussy babies.

After a few minutes of heightened screaming, Clara came stomping down the stairs and tossed something onto the counter with a frustrated groan.

“Clara” I said, “I’m working on dinner, could you take that off the counter please?”

She walked back and picked up a small folded piece of paper, and then she wheeled around and waved it in the air at me. “This thing is so silly.” She said. “I don’t like it.”

I wiped my hands on a dish rag and took the tiny paper from her hands. It was a glossy pamphlet with a little string through the corner that had been pulled off of one of Gideon’s new baby toys. I turned it over looking at it from all sides and shrugged. “Clara, this looks fine to me.”

“No!” She demanded, coming closer. “Look at it!” She pointed angrily at the front page. Under the name of the toy was a picture of a baby frozen in silent laughter as he played with a brightly colored object of some kind. I looked back at Clara and gave her an apologetic smile.

She groaned again, taking the book out of my hands and stabbing it with her finger. “Look at that little boy! He’s playing with the toy and having lots of fun. But it doesn’t work like that. I tried to give this toy to Gideon and it didn’t make him happy like that at all. He just screams and screams at me.”

She tossed the book into the living room, and sat down heavily onto the couch.

She makes a good point though. Maybe we could sue the toy company for false advertisement. They should really put a disclaimer beneath the laughing baby that reads “Warning: Give to child at your own risk. Actual results may vary.”