Teddy’s dad called out to him from the kitchen.
“I have to go change your little sister. Are you cool to play by yourself for a little bit?”
Teddy thought for a moment as he watched his dad clear away the last of the breakfast dishes. He knew Tanya had in her diaper what his parents jokingly called “a present”. There was one gift he didn’t want to be anywhere near.
“Sure Dad. But what can I do?”
Teddy’s dad glanced into the living room at all the scattered toys and books.
“There’s a whole mountain of stuff in there, T!” he said. “Why don’t you try building a tall tower of things since Tanya won’t be there to knock it over?”
A smile spread across Teddy’s face and his eyes glimmered with excitement....and a little bit of mischief.
“Good one, Dad! I’ll even build it out on the back porch so it can stretch all the way to the sky!”
“Go for it!” replied his dad.
Teddy began transporting outside every single wooden block, plastic block and block shaped toy he had. Next, he took all of his books out to their patio - even the ones from his room. Then, he began stacking.
He knew a strong, heavy base would be important for a gigantic tower, so Teddy started with all his wooden blocks. He figured he had about two hundred of them. The blocks piled up fast and easy, making a sturdy foundation. To stack the last few on top, Teddy had to stand on one of their patio chairs. Then, to keep going, he had to stand on the table. Soon, he had to put the chair on the table and stand on both.
Next up were books. Teddy carefully laid all of his flat on the tower, one on top of the other. He had loads of them - big books, little books, chapter books, picture books, thick books, skinny books, and strangely-shaped books. Pulling everything off the family shelves too, Teddy was amazed at how many books they had. Their house could double as a library! Well, maybe not. But still, his tower grew immensely as book after book piled up. Teddy added so many that even when he stood on the chair on the table, he could no longer reach the top of the tower. So he put a box on the chair on the table and carefully climbed on all three of them to keep stacking.
Once he was through the huge pile of books, he moved on to his plastic blocks and block shaped toys. Anything in the shape of a square or a rectangle, he used it. Shoe boxes, drawing boards, wooden puzzles. Teddy put them all on the tower. Luckily, he realized he could walk up the stairs leading to their deck and lean over the railing to keep stacking. When the stairs were no longer high enough, he kept going by leaning over the deck railing. Taller and taller the tower climbed. Suddenly, a friendly voice called up from below.
“Hiya Teddy - we saw you from all the way at our house! Can we help stack?”
Max and Louis, Teddy’s two friends from two houses down, walked into his yard carrying bags of blocks and toys. And each was pulling a big wagon stuffed with more books. Reinforcements! Teddy hadn’t actually realized it, but he was nearly to the end of his pile of things. So it was a stroke of good luck to see his pals and all their supplies.
“Awesome!” yelled Teddy as his friends scampered up the deck stairs.
Together, they stacked. And stacked. Block after block, book after book, toy after toy. When they could no longer reach high enough, they stood on chairs...