What did I learn this week?

Out of sight, out of mind…

I could also call this post “Give me what I really want, and I’ll forget about the other thing.” After pondering what to do about the Disney Princess pillow book – and, thank you Sarah, for your suggestion on this, it reminded me of my own mother’s Barbie-free policy lecture that she started to give me when I was about the same age as C – I did discover a way to truly avoid the issue AND make C happy at the same time.

When the pillow book arrived, C eagerly ripped open the package and then stared at the item. “What is it?”

Nana: “It’s a book! Look, you can sleep on it and read the stories. Isn’t it lovely?”

C: Pause. “I thought that you got me a dress…” Pause “Do you have anything else for me?” You gotta love the frankness of a 3 year old.

Then she went on to have Nana read the book many times over and C seemed to enjoy that. Hence my concern that I would have to actually keep this item AND read it to her.

That evening, I took the pillow book and hid it in her room on the bed under a stack of other pillows. There was no mention of it the next day, so I did not bring it up. When we went downtown that morning, I walked a bit ahead of Corey and C and headed into the local independent toystore. What should I see but a made in Canada princess/dancing dress – pink with a tulle skirt no less – and silver dress up shoes with pink feathers on the toes (not made in Canada unfortunately).

If I haven’t mentioned it before, C is a true girly-girl. She loves dress-up and has been asking for little dress up shoes forever, and it goes without saying that the dress was a huge hit. I can’t describe the look on her face when she opened it except to say it was pure joy – the look of someone who has just received a gift of exactly what they have been wishing and hoping for. If you have kids, you know the look I mean.

Now I know you are probably thinking that I just fixed the problem by buying her something else, but, the something else was an item that contributes to her creative play and can be used for a long time without any commercial baggage attached. I also got her what she really wanted, and it is something she will use for a long, long time, rather than it becoming yet another discarded item gathering dust in the corner.

Next stop for the pillow book: the attic. Just in case a sudden memory re-occurs and I really need it.

2 Responses to “Out of sight, out of mind…”

  1. Ha ha! I love the part about storing it in the attic. We have a multistage process for removing unfavorable items. First, the kitchen window sill, then the top of the fridge, and then the garbage or charity.

    I think you’re right to not indulge her, plus it doesn’t sound like she’s that interested anyway. Isn’t that the issue with the Disney merchandise? There’s so little room for creativity that curious kids move away from the items quickly.

    Anyway, we avoided most Princess stuff for Izzy (a few party favours snuck by) and even though all her friends love Princesses, she hasn’t built any great interest for them. I was worried she would when she got to preschool, but I like to believe that keeping it away from her when she was little has allowed her to acknowledge it without desiring it. Izzy’s a real girly-girl too, and she loves her dresses. If you want to win her favour, give her a dress. All other items are icing on the cake.

    Cheers,
    Rachel

  2. So you know what I am talking about!

    I do need to make a stop at the local charity drop off soon because I have a lot of stuff that is either in the attic, or my other secret stashing place — Momo’s closet upstairs!

    I guess the thing I really don’t understand is why I keep having to deal with items like this in the first place? I think I have been pretty clear that Corey and I have certain ideas about what kinds of toys we want to have in the house – on principle as well from a purely practical perspective in terms of the amount of space we have (the pillow book was a problem on both fronts). Oh well, I’ll keep trying to be clear, or else just keep space free up in the attic I suppose!

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