The Times has a fascinating article on the rise of recalls on Chinese-made toys over the last few years. Two of our kid’s “Thomas and Friends” wooden trains are part of the latest recall because of lead paint. We’ve long preferred the metal Thomas trains since 21-month old Francis chews on the wooden ones and gnaws their paint off.
We learned about the lead painted Thomas’s on the same day that our family doctor told us that it was officially time to become concerned with Francis’s slow speech development. When Theo was just a little older than Francis is now we put together a dictionary of his vocabulary. Francis makes cute sounds and seems bright and curious but he’s not even gotten out a consistent mama or papa and we haven’t been able to figure out a meaning for his most common word (Aye – YEASH). He’s got an appointment six months from now with specialists at Wilmington’s Nemours (that’s how backed up they are!).
We’re not blaming the trains — the lead ones we had were relatively unpopular and have few signs of wear. And we’re not panicking. My mother brushes off all concern with the assured declaration that kids learn to talk at lots of different ages. She could certainly be right of course: our doctor sent us to Nemours for Theo with the worry that he had a big head. If Francis does turn out to be a little “slow,” well then we’ll just take that as another lesson plan God has for us.