Janet Hommel Mangas: Wooden spoons, bowls and sticks

My grandson is currently sitting on my living room rug stirring up a bowl of pancake batter with a new multi-colored, silicone-coated whisk and short red-handled wooden spoon. He’s nine months and three weeks old, so the pancake batter is quite imaginary — a tidy way to mix up splashy, sloppy batter.

I remember my Grandma Florence Hommel rolling egg noodles out on the kitchen table at the 135 Franklin farm, with a floor of toddlers playing with wooden spoons clanging on bowls. My mother Betty shared similar spoons and bowls at her feet to entertain her brood of seven as she made breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I was thinking how a wise king named Solomon is attributed the quote written around the 9th century BC: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Also known as Ecclesiastes 1:9, King Solomon probably was not referring to grandparents and parents throwing down wooden spoons and bowls to entertain a toddler — which now in fancy terminology is called “independent play.” But one has to acknowledge there really is nothing new under the sun.

Out of curiosity, I Googled “what is the oldest toy?” The website fleetscience.org shared that the “oldest top ever found was dated to be about six thousand years old and there was a wooden top found in King Tut’s tomb.” Who knew?

But Britannica.com filled my heart with its answer: the stick. “The stick may be the world’s oldest toy. Animals play with sticks, and we use them to play fetch with our dogs. Children find sticks and endless source of make-believe fun. Sticks can turn into swords, magic wands, majorette batons, fishing poles and light sabers,” read their entry.

When John gets up from his nap, we’re changing his diaper, then pulling on his winter boots, coat, hat and gloves. We are headed outside to find a stick. We’ll probably wipe the snow off of it, head back inside to warm up and pretend to go fishing — we have dinner to prepare.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.