“I wonder what Marshall will think of this!” she says, rushing up the stairs to her bedroom where her spotty, four-pawed friend has been waiting for her, patiently. He is unequivocally her favourite toy, the best of her bunch, the one she cried over when I had to wash him yesterday following an impromptu rummage around in the dirt whilst we were on one of our winter walks. Like a broken record, she repeatedly asked how long he would be in the washing machine for, how many minutes did the dryer take, was he having fun, would he be nice and warm and dry and cosy when he finally stopped being tumbled around, his cute yet dopey eyes staring at us through the door? By bedtime, I replied to her heartbroken face, wiping her tears with my dress and being silently thankful for the wonders of modern technology. Yes, Marshall is definitely her very best friend and if anybody was to give this new toy box of hers the golden seal of approval, it was going to be him.
It had arrived amongst a flurry of parcels, it is Christmas after all and, well I suppose with my gift guides and plans for #Veganuary next month, it’s to be expected. All of my other packages had seemed boring to her, what’s a 2-year-old supposed to do with vegan lipsticks and a box of juices? Not to mention those packages I had scurried away from her beady eyes. But this, this had been different. Much bigger for a start and I’d caught her attention by almost panto-style exclaiming “Ooh, what could this be then?”
“Will you need Daddy’s drill?” “No sweetpea”. I just needed a cross-head screwdriver and a bit of oomph but I admit I scoffed at the notion of the drill being Daddy’s. Yes, technically it had been bought for him but this isn’t 1950’s Britain, I could use the bloody thing if needed. Luckily, I could avoid the dog barking and her covering her ears because it was very easy to put together, I even built it around her, literally, because she wanted to see everything I was doing and “see what it’s going to be like for Marshall”. Yes, really, she is a conscious soul. It took less than 30 minutes overall, toddler distractions included!
Whilst I stood back and admired my handy work, she dived across the sofa to fetch some fluffy cushions. I thought I’d have to explain it to her but no, she’d already spotted the secondary purpose to her new toy box — it doubled up quite nicely as a seat too! She proudly parked herself upon it, talking softly to Marshall as she cosied him up next to her and that was it, I’d lost her to the land of CBeebies. She was happy as larry and I went off to make myself a cup of well-earned tea, returning to a bare, empty sofa. You see, she’d only gone and nicked all the bloody cushions! She’s lucky I adore her, I felt naked on the settee without my usual cushion fort to snuggle up with.
Upstairs in its new home outside Lily’s room, her toy box has seen plenty of action. What is it with toddlers and putting things in and out and in again? It’s managed to keep her occupied for a good twenty minutes on quite a few occasions whilst I’ve taken the opportunity to tidy away the slippery book carpet she so keenly creates on a daily basis and evicted an increasing amount of cuddly toy tenants from her bed. I don’t know how she fits in herself sometimes and if I end up sleeping in her bed with her as well it can be mighty uncomfortable! “You’re squishing Paws with your big head” “Don’t lay on Batty Hanratty” Listen kid, you want me in here? It’s either me or the teddies!
Lily’s new toy box has certainly been a big hit in this house! She’s happy because her mountain of cuddlies have somewhere of their own to “relax”, I’m happy because it looks beautiful — it’s such a welcome addition to our home and has a safety hinge so it’s got no chance of falling down and catching her fingers — and Daddy? Well, he’s happy because he doesn’t have to take his life into his hands tripping over a flurry of toys every time he dares to venture upstairs to the playroom and beyond.
We were gifted the Liberty House Toys Kid’s Toy Box (Safari Animals) from Kiddies Kingdom. It currently retails at £69.99 with free delivery which usually takes around 2 – 3 days.