I’m not sure how it’s done in all German towns, but in our little town the birthday boy (or girl) “registers” at the local toy store.  So, of course, we did this too.  Dane was beyond excited to walk in, pick out his box (old wooden fruit crates painted bright colors), scribble his name on the front and fill it with all his favorite toys.  The good thing is the boxes are small and manageable for excited children to carry through the store.

The smallish size also prevents kids, ahem Dane, from filling it with huge boxes of hundred-euro-legos.  The only drawback is that a toy store is very exciting.  Even with the hundred-euro-lego boxes out of the running, there are plenty of things to stuff into those old fruit crates.  Dane ran through the store filling his box with every little “perfect” toy he could find.  From playmobil guys, to matchbox cars, to coloring pencils, to knives.

Oh yes.  Dane found a knife.  A swiss army knife to be exact.  I saw him put it in, but it was from the same shelf as the toy microscope and the toy  magnifying glass (that also found its way into the box) I was sure it was a toy.  Of course the knife was one of the many toys he opened on Saturday.  He got it wrapped in the same paper as all the other presents, from the youngest, sweetest, little girl in his class.   But it is most definitely not a toy.

It may not be a real swiss army knife, but it’s blades are very sharp, very steel, very real.  I cannot begin to describe the look on my husbands face when he saw our Big Boy open his first knife and jump up and down with joy that he had a real knife.  Let alone the look that followed when he saw it was really a real knife.  Let alone the look when he heard I knew he’d put a knife in the box.

That knife was the subject of many laughs well into Saturday night, from our American and German friends alike.  Especially the wine corker attachment brought on many giggles.  Now, four days later, Dane takes a daily trip with Daddy to the man cave to stare at the knife.  It’s locked tightly away to be used only under close supervision.  It is, after all, not a toy, but a real Knife.