Going through their mother's latest purchases is somehow always more exciting than the zillion toys that cram my children's bedroom shelves.
What could possibly be so fascinating in a bag of medicines or soap and shampoo bottles that require them to abandon all other activity, shall forever boggle my mind.
So when the latest lot of household essentials was delivered to our home, it was not unusual for my curious kittens to leave their lunch unfinished and survey the deliveries. Of course if it had been pizza instead of dal and rice it wouldn't have been the case.
But this time, they seemed to have hit jackpot in their quest to find treasure when they discovered Colgate's new attractively packaged toothpaste especially designed for children.
The box promised a magical world of sea creatures within. They cut out the packaging carefully and found inside, the cut outs of sea creatures, as promised.
"Look mama a dolphin, a shark and an octopus," they squealed.
"Why have they given these with the toothpaste?" they wondered, the excitement dancing off their eyes.
Not one to let such a wonderful opportunity go, I replied, "the people at Colgate factory have sent them over to remind you to brush your teeth twice a day and not just in the mornings"
"Really?" they replied eyes going wide.
"But how did they know??"
"Your dentist told them," I whispered in mock exaggeration.
"Fine, We will brush twice a day," they grumbled making a face. And I secretly thanked Colgate for this mini miracle.
They then ran off with the cut outs clutched firmly in their hands, fighting of course for which ones belonged to whom.
But then I soon heard them chattering away, which is always a most endearing trait in little children. The way they so easily transport themselves into their world of fantasy.
As I discreetly tried to overhear, they caught me in the act and smiled sheepishly. Then blushed and asked, "do you want to hear our story?"
"Of course I do," I smiled.
"Once there was a shark," my daughter began, holding up the cutout as if to conduct her very own puppet show.
"His name was Sheldon," She proceeded. "Sheldon did not like to goto swimming school. He didn't want to leave Mama Shark.
So every morning he would make excuses to not go.
'My fins are tired.' He would tell his Mama or,
"His mother would laugh and say.
'We live in water, Sheldon. You're wet anyway'", my son piped in.
"'But why do I have to goto school? I already know how to swim," Sheldon grumbled.
"So you can learn some more and make new friends," his mother explained.
"Nobody wants to be my friend. Everyone is scared of me because I'm a shark."
So his mother told him to be more friendly and helpful and soon everyone would see that he was a loving shark.
And she forced him to goto swimming school.
Then one day as Sheldon swam to school, he found a tube lying at the bottom of the ocean. He was curious about what it was, so he tried to catch it with his mouth. When he did some white and sticky paste squeezed out onto his teeth. It was toothpaste and Sheldon's mouth smelt minty fresh.
When he reached school he forgot all about the mint toothpaste because he realized everyone looked very worried about something.
"What is the matter?" Sheldon asked.
"Olly the octopus has got her tentacles stuck in some plastic bottles that humans threw into our ocean and we can't get her out. The plastic is hurting her and she's crying in pain," the Dolphin explained.
Sheldon could see a lot of litter in the ocean. There were plastic bags and bottles and glass. People were dirtying the ocean and there wasn't anything the sea creatures could do about it.
Sheldon then asked his friends if he could help Olly who was moving about her tentacles but the bottle was stuck and wouldn't budge.
Sheldon tried to bite the bottle with his sharp, strong, clean, white teeth. And suddenly the bottle broke and Olly's tentacle was free. She was so happy she hugged Sheldon with all her tentacles and that made him very happy.
All his friends rushed to congratulate him. They all wanted to be friends with Sheldon.
When he went home and told his mother about his day she was proud of him and from that day he was happy to goto school every morning.
And with that my children ended her fascinating story, making me so proud of them. It was truly fascinating how a few little picture cut outs had unlocked their imagination.
The only problem was they now wanted to immediately buy four new packs of Colgate toothpaste so they could collect all the cut outs and tell me more stories!