It was pretty early on in our parenting, somewhere between Day 5 and What-Did-We-Get-Ourselves-Into, when our Pastor, the Reverend Marilyn Meeker-Williams, dropped by to see the babies she would later baptize and to give us a small basket of goodies from a “green baby boutique” called Bebé Verde. Bebé Verde partners with manufacturers that emphasize social responsibility and environmental accountability.

And of course Marilyn would know about this boutique because she’s one of the most eco-conscious, fair-trade minded, peace and justice movement, equality-driven people I’ve ever known. Ever. She walks the talk and lives the walk.

One of the gifts was this Terry Duck Toy by Under The Nile (we also received a similar Frog Toy for Mateo). These little toys retail for between $11 and $14 and are made and stuffed with 100% organic Egyptian cotton. They are light weight for brand new wee ones, a little under seven inches long, and you can just toss in the washing machine to clean.

Ours sat up on a shelf where we keep other stuffed animals until one day I excused myself to “go to the bathroom” where I instead sat on a closed-lid toilet while reading a Daily Devotional, Parents Magazine, and US Weekly. Yeah? So what. Don’t tell me you don’t hide in the bathroom sometimes.

the frog with a 3 1/2 month old Harper.

One article reminded me about giving a baby a damp cloth to chew on instead of a plastic gel- or water-filled toy. What with two kids who are speed-teethers, I just ran the Duck and Frog under the faucet for a bit and tossed them into the freezer for 5 minutes. After that, I handed them over to the kiddos as a teething toy.

Even now, it’s cute to see them walk around with a duck or frog swinging side-to-side from their mouths (plus, it sure beats plastic bags, tubes of Desitin, or water bottle caps). I’ve also been known to toss them into the bath and play Quack! Quack! Quack! or Ribbit! Ribbit! while also using them as a pseudo-wash cloth. Anything to distract a toddler while still managing to get them bathed.