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by Abigail Van Buren

Curious Toddler Explores Her Way Into Danger Zone

DEAR ABBY: We all know that toddlers can get into everything, but while I was baby-sitting my grandchildren, the little one did something I never would have imagined.

My son-in-law had taken my suitcase up to my room and placed it on the bed. Shortly after that, I missed my granddaughter and went looking for her. I found her in my room with all my pills strewn around her. She had unzipped the suitcase, unzipped the bag in which I keep my medicine and removed all of the caps! Fortunately, she hadn't put any of my pills in her mouth.

However, I would like to warn others about this and thought your column would be the best way to do it. -- CONCERNED GRANDPARENT, WHARTON, N.J.

DEAR CONCERNED: I'm sure your helpful reminder will be appreciated by those who carry medications while traveling, or in a handbag on a daily basis. Small children are naturally curious. Anything they shouldn't touch should be placed out of reach or in a child-proof cabinet.

DEAR ABBY: This year my husband and I have sent the enclosed poem to all of our children and their numerous offspring -- 28 at last count. We know it's difficult to select gifts for us, and frankly, we don't need anything. We want to simplify our lives by having less "stuff."

Perhaps our little verse will help other senior citizens who feel as we do. It is original, but feel free to use it if you think it's something your readers will find useful. -- LONGTIME READERS IN MISSOURI

DEAR LONGTIME READERS: Your delightful poem is well worth sharing, and I'm sure its message will be appreciated by countless people of all ages who feel as you do. Read on:

So many of you asked us (since Yuletide's drawing near)

"What do you want for Christmas? What can we give this year?"

If we say, "We want nothing!" you buy something anyway,

So here's a list of what we'd like; believe now what we say:

Pajamas for a little child, food to feed the poor.

Blankets for a shelter, and we ask but little more --

Perform good deeds and let us know,

Or volunteer your time.

These last are worth a fortune,

And they needn't cost a dime.

We have too many things now, vases, candles, tapes and clocks.

We have our fill of garments, ties, underwear and socks.

Candy is too fattening, crossword books we've more than 20.

We don't need trays or plates or cups,

And knickknacks we have plenty.

We've no walls to hang more pictures;

We have books we've not yet read;

So please take what you'd spend on us

And help the poor instead!

Just send a Christmas card to us and tell us what you've done;

We'll open them on Christmas Eve, and read them one by one.

It won't cost as much for postage as a package sent would do,

You'll need no wrapping paper, ribbons, ink or glue.

And we'll thank God you listened to what we had to say,

So we could be the instruments to help someone this way.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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