Tag Archives: Little People

Calusta Gets Fresh

The Calusta mystery deepens.

Back story: It’s old news that Lily has Little People representing every single member of our extended family. Recently we added a black doll to the mix, she named it Calusta. Calusta started living in our family’s Little People House.

Well, Calusta doesn’t just live with Little People us anymore. He sleeps with Mommy and Daddy Little People.

This looks really uncomfortable.

When my husband saw Lily doing this the first time, he immediately said “Lily, you really need to tell us the next time you see the real Calusta. I really really need to know who he is.”

Because, to the best of my knowledge, neither we have ever had a third person in our bed (aside from a baby when I was nursing). Our bed most nights looks exactly like this, except we sleep inside the house, not on top of it.

The real Lumpy is usually on top of my feet, but close enough.

See? Just me, my lovely (usually Asian, but for some reason white in Little People world) husband and our bed-hogging dog. This is how it’s supposed to look.

Why on earth is Calusta invading our bed? You’d think if anyone was invading our bed it would be one of the kids, not the stranger who has suddenly started mooching off my husband modest salary.

Lily says Calusta is sleeping with Mommy and Daddy because there’s no space left to sleep in the house. And indeed, our extended family seemed to be having a slumber party during this play session, but I’ve seen Calusta sleeping with Mommy and Daddy when there are no other overnight guests.

My sister, brother-in-law, parents and Dan and Larissa were spending the night at our Little People house on this night. Lily hasn’t seen Dan and Larissa in probably a year, but apparently they needed to spend the night instead of driving their dump truck.

I pointed out that Calusta could sleep on the Little People couch, but she said no. That he likes to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s bed and that’s where he belongs.

Have I been missing something at night?

I sure hope not. If my husband and I have been having a threesome, I really really want to know about it.


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The Calusta Mystery

We have been on the hunt for a new Rose Little People doll for ages. Rose Little People was being played by a baby in a basket. While a baby in a basket once accurately portrayed Rose, it wasn’t fitting for the “Big Girl” Rose who lives with us now.

Babies in baskets are much more peaceful than toddlers who rip apart my house on an hourly basis.

We finally found the perfect “Big Girl” Rose in a birthday party three pack– very fitting considering her fast-approaching birthday.

As you can see, “Big Girl” Rose came with an African American friend. Lily has given every Little People doll in our house an identity of someone in her real life. We told Lily the doll was one of her friends from school and she promptly corrected us.

“No, that’s not Anthony. This is Calusta. Hi, Calusta!”

Calusta? Me: “Who is Calusta?!”

Lily: “This Little People is Calusta.”

Me: “Where did you come up with that name? I don’t think there’s anyone at school named Calusta. Is there someone on tv named that?”

Lily: “No. Just this Little People.”

She has consistently called this Little People doll Calusta (Cah-loo-stah) for more than a week now and I can’t for the life of me figure out how she came up with this name. The girl never makes up names and this name is pretty random and ethnic sounding. I can’t remember ever seeing someone on tv with a name similar to Calusta, but maybe I’m not remembering right? Google searches of a variety of spellings of “Calusta” have left me empty-handed. I’ve even tried a bunch of “Carusta” spellings because her “r’s” and “l’s” are not so good. I have no idea where this name came from and it’s driving me crazy, especially because Calusta seems to be living in the same Little People house as our family, so his name comes up a lot.

I guess Calusta’s orgin will always remain a mystery.

Unless one of you recognizes it. Calusta? Anyone?

Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff?



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The Blue Dress

Every morning before Rose even eats breakfast, she puts on her blue Cinderella-inspired princess dress, crown, shoes, necklace and holds her magic wand. EVERY MORNING. All the wishing I did that Lily would play dress up sort of backfired on me there. Dress up once a day or even once a week would be plenty. I have dress up almost hourly, and she’s not big enough to dress herself. So I’m constantly putting that princess dress on her and taking it back off, helping her with her shoes and adjusting her crown. The only way to prevent this from being constant is to turn on the tv. Is it any wonder she watches so much of it? ;)

Secretly Cinderella, but without the chores.

Rose has a preference for the blue dress above all our other dress-up clothes. I was surprised when I recently secured new princess gear for the girls and Rose wanted little to do with it despite her zest for dress-up. It took me forever to figure out why she preferred the blue dress. Then one day she brought me her favorite Little People doll while she was wearing her blue princess dress and pointed out everything about this Little People doll, who represents my sister in the girls’ Little People Dynasty.

“Look Mommy! Princess Emi! Blue Dress! Crown! Necklace! Magic Wand!”

And if that didn’t write it on the wall for me (um, it didn’t quite), she pointed to the same things she was wearing. “Princess Rose! Blue Dress! Crown! Necklace! Magic Wand!” (Yes, she speaks in all exclaimation marks, as do all near 2 year olds I’ve met.)

So all this time Rose was trying to emulate her favorite Little People and maybe even her aunt. And here I thought she just liked to play dress-up. Nope. She just likes to dress like her favorite doll (and/or person).

(Happy Birthday, Emi!)


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The Poppy Wars

Now that Rose can talk, her opinions over toys are causing quite the ruckus. She shares Lily’s love of Little People has her own ideas about who represents whom in our Little People Empire.

Ever since Lily started her Little People family dynasty, this farmer Little People has been my father, whom she calls Poppy.

Farmer Poppy

My parents own 10 acres with horses, a llama, miniature donkeys, cats, dogs, parrots and a peacock. A farmer doll that drives a tractor is a fairly accurate representation of my dad even though he’s not technically a farmer. He’s actually a practicing psychologist who spends most of his time in dress shirts, slacks and ties. Lily only sees Poppy on the “farm” (or farm without quotes. When you don’t produce crops it’s not technically a farm, but once you start boarding horses and taking in some money for that it might be a farm? I get confused.).

Well, last night Rose informed me that the farmer is not Poppy. The Hanukkah grandpa is Poppy. She was very assertive over the matter.

Jewish Poppy

This is pretty dead on too. My dad doesn’t have grey hair. He is balding, but nowhere near as bald as this doll. He is also Jewish, though he doesn’t really run around with a book with a Jewish star on it most of the time. MAYBE such a book would be around on Passover, but otherwise not so much.

Which doll will win out on the future role as Poppy? The war has started. For now, Farmer Poppy is winning because Lily is better at talking, but Rose’s case for Jewish Poppy is compelling. Will Jewish Poppy edge out Farmer Poppy? Only time will tell.



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Inside the House

Ever since I drew houses on plastic containers for Lily’s Little People grandparents and great grandparents, Lily’s Little People family has been constantly loading into the Little People car to visit them. She makes sure the houses are in separate rooms to represent the distance she has to travel to see everyone.

My grandparents live in a yellow stacking cubby.

They have an African grey parrot I was forced to draw in their window, even though the bird is not at all visible from the outside of the house.

What’s inside their “house”? The same thing that’s inside my parents’ Little People “house”.

A bunch of people just standing around. Do these Little People play or talk or interact once they end their long journey to my grandparents’ house? Nope. They all just scurry inside to have the house put over them. The same thing happens over at my parents’ red Little People house and barn.

It’s about as thrilling to play as you can imagine, but it cracks me up to watch all the Little People disappear under one tubby to “visit” each other and that the visits involve no actual words. All the Little People do is travel back and forth between houses.

Someday the plot must thicken, right? I remember having elaborate plots with my dolls, but I guess that comes later?

Or maybe this is accurate role playing and  my family just sits around staring at the walls and I haven’t noticed?

Who knows.


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Too Many Dogs

As you’ll recall, my parents were living in the giant plastic tubby we were using to store all the Little People. This meant every time Lily wanted to play that the Little People were visiting her grandparents, she had to dump every single Little People piece on the floor. This was catastrophic. We have a virtual army of Little People. We could probably open our own Little People toy store. There was a ton of tiny pieces on the floor that took forever to put away. I had to do something to contain the Little People madness.

So I got a bunch of smaller containers and divided up the Little People army so that when they were dumped, the mess wouldn’t be so insane. My parents’ “house” got left in the basement amid my reorganization efforts and Lily noticed. She wanted Nonni and Poppy’s “house” back.

We weren’t using the “house” to store Little People anymore and I was tired of looking at an empty plastic tub, so I decided to create a better “house” for them without investing $35+ in another Little People house. I took one of the tubbies I’d bought to organize our playroom and used my amazing artistic talent to transform it into a house.

It is a masterpiece, as you can see. As I was drawing, Lily was yelling “They have two cats! You need to draw two cats in the window!”

So I did.

Then she said “They have two birds too!”

So I drew two birds.

L: “And they have two dogs! Dusty and Snickers! Right, Mommy?”

Me: “Right!”

She was super excited about Nonni and Poppy’s new house, but got upset when she actually went to go play with it. She has a MegaBloks dog she pretends is Snickers (actually our dog Lumpy’s biological mother. True story.).

L: “Oh no! There’s too many dogs! We already have Snickers right here. Only one dog should be in the window. Now there’s three dogs instead of two dogs.”

Me: “Well, you could pretend that dog is Lumpy. Lumpy always stays at Nonni and Poppy’s when we go to visit.”

L: “Oh. Yes. The dogs are Lumpy and Dusty (who is actually Lumpy’s biological sister).”

But then she played a bit more and got really upset when our family arrived at Nonni and Poppy’s new house with Little People Lumpy in the toy car.

L: “Mommy, there are too many dogs! This can’t be Lumpy in the window. Lumpy is right here!”

L: “I don’t want there to be four dogs. There should be three dogs! Not four dogs. We have a problem. You need to fix the house and take one dog out of the window.”

Me: “Shut up. You are too good at math.”

Ok, I did NOT say that. But sometimes I THINK it.

What I REALLY said: “Well, maybe that’s Snowball?” (Snowball is my sister’s dog AND Lumpy’s biological brother. My family is nuts… about Australian shepherds.)

But then I remembered we had ANOTHER Little People dog. Maybe I needed to make a new house because I HAD to draw two dogs in the window. What was I thinking?

Me: “Oh wait, is this dog Dusty or Snowball?”

L: “No. That’s the Hanukkah dog. He only goes with the Hanukkah Little People.”

Me: “But you could pretend he’s Dusty…”

L: “NO! That’s too silly! He’s only a Hannukah Little People dog.”


So, we’ve officially come to the conclusion that the two dogs in the window of my parents’ new “house” are my parents’ dog Dusty (Lumpy’s sister) and my sister’s dog Snowball (Lumpy’s brother), who has come to visit from Wisconsin.

I’m glad we got that whole mess sorted out.

Tomorrow: A rant about chocolate chips. Yes, chocolate chips. Friday: What happens in these new Little People houses, aside from ongoing debates about if the correct amount of dogs were drawn on the window.



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Kids Play: My Parents Live in a Box

I started this blog because of Lily’s hilarious interactions with her Little People, and she immediately started ignoring them. Well, she couldn’t ignore them forever. Little People are back with a vengeance. Lily’s latest obsession with them has expanded their universe from our suburban home in Ohio to my parents’ farm in Indiana.

We “only” have one Little People house, so Lily constructed one for my parents. The “house” is the Rubbermaid plastic storage tub we keep the Little People in when we aren’t playing with them. My parents apparently live in a box! I grew up in that “house”, so I get to say I was raised in a box!

To get to Indiana, the entire family, including my parents, gets in the dump truck, driven by my friend Dan, and travels back and forth between Indiana and Ohio. The trips take less than 5 seconds. If that were true in real life, things would be MUCH less complicated, though I don’t think riding in the back of a crowded dump truck would be very comfortable.

Also, this fantasy dump truck job my friend Dan has seems to be excruciatingly boring and time-consuming. Real life Dan is in medical school and I don’t see how he has time to study what with all the chauffeuring he’s doing for my family in Little People World. I know driving us around in a dump truck is fun, but get your priorities straight, Little People Dan.

This is totally how we travel.

None of the Little People talk to each other at any part of this voyage. They just visit each other. Once all the dolls get back to our house, everyone goes to sleep on the floor. The two dogs sleep on the roof with my husband and I.

I just love to sleep on the roof with 2 dogs.

These representations of our life never cease to amuse me.

Share your toy stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.



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Kids Play: Playing with Food

Yesterday I noticed Rose’s food was disappearing at an alarming rate. I knew she had been holding an empty tissue box, but it took a while for me to realize what she was doing with it.

Not only was she stuffing all her food in this box, but she also had a bunch of Little People accessories in there and her pacifier thermometer. I particularly like that the Little People Hanukkah oven is in there with all the food. She just had to prove that 15 month olds are hilarious.

Share your funny toy stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.


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Toy Analysis: Hanukkah Little People

I was delighted when my friend Liz sent me a link to Hanukkah Little People. Before I could even ask, my grandmother saw the link to them on facebook and had ordered them for the girls. We opened them on the first night of Hanukkah Wednesday and they are a big hit.

I love the toy and am excited to add it to our Little People universe. If you are Jewish, I highly recommend ordering one. That said, a few things about this kit make me laugh.

Check out who is doing all the cooking. It’s a little hard to see, so I took my own picture of it.

That’s right. Mom has a spoon forever cemented to her hand so she make matzoh ball soup for all of eternity. You could argue that the spoon is there for eating, but it’s clear in the advertising picture that she is meant to cook. Not only is she meant to cook, but no one is helping, not even the grandmother. The grandmother is holding a present. Grandmothers don’t cook; they give presents!

Why isn’t Dad helping in the kitchen?

He’s too busy getting drunk. My, that wine glass is full!

Given the head-coverings on these Little People, I’m guessing they are Orthodox Jews, but how do they keep good strict kosher with only one refrigerator? I’m only a Reform Jew with a love of pork bacon so my knowledge of keeping strict kosher is limited, but it’s always been my understanding that Orthodox Jews keep two refrigerators and two sets of plates to keep meat and dairy completely separate. I don’t think these Orthodox Little People are doing it!

Is that ham I see on the top shelf? Gotta love the giant cake on the bottom shelf.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s the Star of David AND a not-a-menorah on the refrigerator door… it only has five candles in it. How would we know this was a Jewish family if they didn’t have religious (and inaccurate) refrigerator art? I know my refrigerator is always covered with Star of Davids. If the Star of Davids weren’t all over my refrigerator, I’d never remember that I am Jewish.

I really do love this set and how it makes our holiday feel a little more mainstream. It just makes me giggle for inappropriate reasons.

Happy Hanukkah, everyone!



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Kids Play: Chicken Commentary

3-year-old Lily’s thoughts on this Little People chicken: “Oh! He only has one leg! Where his other leg? He broken. He can’t walk.” *knocks over the bird*

I never would have noticed the “missing” leg if she hadn’t said or done anything. I presume the bird is holding his other leg up under his “feathers”.

What hilarious things do your children notice about their toys? Send your stories to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.


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