The car needed an oil change and my kids were accompanying me. The three of us sat down on the floor of the dealership’s amazing playroom and began to rummage through a big toy box of random plastic toys. It contained dinosaurs, cars, a tea set and the highlight for my daughter, a few “Snap N’ Style dolls.
We dressed the dolls to attend a tea party when suddenly a dinosaur driving a car crashed the party! He quickly learned the error of his ways and became their pet.
After a bit, he had to save everyone from the giant (aka my one year old). We played like this for a solid forty-five minutes until our car was ready. My focus was entirely on the two of them with zero distractions in an attempt to keep them happy and meltdown-free for as long as possible.
As we left, my daughter requested we purchase some dolls like we had been playing with. I said she could put it on her Christmas list and figured she would quickly forget about them.
I was wrong.
She talked about these dolls every day passionately, so much so that I became determined to find them. Thankfully, eBay came to the rescue. I discovered a listing that contained not only the dolls, clothing and a wardrobe, but also a baby, crib, high chair, dog, and dog bed. I had to have it. Anika needed it. It made her so happy! We made such a wonderful memory that we would recreate at home.
Everything came a few days later and the joy on my daughter’s face was so sweet and so precious…for about two minutes. Then she looked at me and said, “Where’s the dinosaur and car? Can you play with me like we did the other time?”
And that’s when it hit me. My daughter wasn’t holding on to the memory of playing with these specific dolls. She was holding on to the memory of playing with me.
Time and money had been wasted when I could have simply used the toys we already had and fully engaged with her the way I had at the Honda dealership that day; free of distractions.
No dishes to do, laundry to swap over, dogs to take out, lunches to make, text messages to answer. Just mommy entering her world of imagination.
It broke my heart that I didn’t realize this sooner. It wasn’t the doll that had made her happy, it was the quality time we spent playing together.
About the Author: Nikki Cox is a mommy of two striving to clear away the clutter both physical and emotional so she can live life with intention and clarity. Find her at Lovelylucidlife.com.