I love Christmas but I hate shopping (unless it’s thrifting). I particularly hate shopping in giant, unruly crowds of people. Number one on my list of Christmas tips is to stock up in November before the mad rush of shoppers decent. The plan is to buy enough nonperishable household supplies to last through the Christmas season so that we don’t find ourselves at an overcrowded store, desperately clutching a single tube of diaper rash cream, on December 24th.
We knew this, we tried planning ahead, and yet we still found ourselves circling the parking lot of a giant toy store on the Saturday before Christmas. As we looked for a parking spot, any parking spot, Anthony said, “This may be the single worst idea we’ve ever had.”Ha! Hardly! I mean, sure, it was dumb. But Anthony and I have been together a long, long time, and we’ve done some monumentally stupid things. Which I won’t talk about. Or maybe I will. Later. When I don’t have to worry about finding gainful employment beyond the home. Ahem.
Like most kids in America, Isobel already has an obscene amount of toys. But she had been struggling with playing independently lately even though she did very well with it for a long time. We realized the other day that many of her toys are too young for her. She’s not a baby. She’s a little girl. We had several gift cards to a big box toy store so we thought let’s go shopping! Shopping for toys for Isobel when we don’t have to worry about our budget is almost as good as thrifting. We were just a little off with our timing.
And so it came to be: we found ourselves in the aisles of a packed, chaotic, and deafeningly loud toy store the weekend before Christmas.
Even more surprising, we had a blast picking out toys for Isobel. Apparently the valuable ignoring skills I’ve built up throughout my life helped me totally, completely ignore the insanity around us and focus instead on finding some awesome toys for Isobel. (My skills worked a little too well, actually, because several times I bumped into people with my cart. Oh, sorry. Didn’t see you there. Because you hardly exist.)
We had a list with us, and although we didn’t get everything that was on it, we took home a good assortment of toys.
Baby-Doll Stroller – Isobel constantly tries to push her own stroller around, which is too tall for her.
Dollhouse Furniture – I found this dollhouse for her at a yard sale while I was pregnant. Furniture and inhabitants were not included.
Plastic Animals – She can identify most animals in English and many in Spanish.
Musical Instruments – The girl’s got rhythm.
Hotwheels Cars – She loved our neighbor’s cars. I haven’t been able to find them second hand.
Alphabet Puzzle– Any toy encouraging the learning of the alphabet is fine by me. She’s pretty good at singing the song, but can only identify a few letters.
Bubbles– she loves bubbles so we bought her some fancy wands.
We looked through everything on our list, loaded up our cart, and sorted through it for the things we really liked. Isobel was at Grandma’s so could take our time. When all was said and done, spent only $7.00 thanks to the giftcards.
I did buy this bee backpack even though it really didn’t serve any specific purpose. I’m so glad because Isobel has worn it around all day and apparently loves it.
We gave her the stroller early because we could hardly resist.This is what she looked like most of the weekend.
Backpack on, proudly pushing one of her stuffed animals in the stroller through the house.
The only thing wrong with this stroller, from her perspective, is that five stuffed animals wouldn’t fit in there at once.
It’s only a matter of time before she tries to push Poppy around in it. Frankly, I’m not sure if Poppy would mind.
She’s been practicing some tricks with it. Pretty soon she’ll be taking it off some sweet jumps.
Going to a toy store the weekend before Christmas? One of our good ideas, actually.