Sally has 18,000 toys. I counted them. They’re spilling out of bins, dripping out of cupboards and threatening to blow doors off of closets. But my precious glass-half-empty girl is more concerned with what she doesn’t have. If we lose a part, OH the drama. Once, she lost a yellow plastic teaspoon. We heard about that every day (I am not exaggerating) until finally, about a year later, it turned up. Mr. Embee and I danced around like we’d found the winning Mega Lotto ticket. We called relatives, for God’s sake.
But worse than the missing items are the parts that never existed. When Sally got a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, she lamented that there was no doghouse for Pluto and no Handy hot air balloon. I explained they didn’t make those toys. “Maybe we can make them, Mommy!” There’s nothing quite like your child looking at you with pure confidence that you are capable of absolutely anything. It’s important to mention that I CANNOT make things. In eighth grade science we had to make a car powered by a mouse trap. I redesigned mine 17 times (thanks, Dad) before it finally crept along the classroom floor. When I left for college the car was still hanging in the science room as an example of either perseverance or stupidity. So anyway, we made Pluto’s house, the balloon and Willie the Giant to boot:
You’ll note the superb craftsmanship in these items. I mean, look at Pluto–he’s thrilled.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect Sally to give a hoot about these hunks of junk for more than a day (otherwise I may have tried to actually fit poor Willie’s pants to him). But she cares about them as much–maybe more–than any toy we’ve purchased for her.
And then she asked me to make Vidia. For the three people on earth who don’t know, Vidia is Sally’s imaginary friend. She also happens to be the mean fairy in Tinker Bell. If you, too, have the distinct pleasure of raising a child who loves every bad guy she encounters, you’ve already learned that they don’t make bad guy toys. Or they do but they’re collectors’ items and require you to take a second mortgage to purchase. So we made Vidia. And had her laminated. It’s awesome.
Excuse the blur. Vidia is a “fast-flying” fairy so it’s pretty hard to catch her standing still. This handcrafted masterpiece was codesigned by Sally and myself, which was perfect because our artistic abilities are just about on the same level.
Mission accomplished, right? No. My kid is a little bit of a detail freak. No sooner was Vidia encased in plastic than Sally began noticing her flaws. Her hair isn’t as long as Vidia’s is in the book. We forgot ears. Her shoes should be bigger. Not to mention her backside is completely bare (ooh-lah-lah).
So now Sally is wishing for a “real” Vidia doll for her birthday. What is this, Pinocchio? I laminated the blasted thing! But what’s a mom to do? She loves Vidia. And so I will make it happen. This feat of engineering and artistry will eclipse anything I’ve ever made with my own two hands. It’s gonna hurt.
To be continued. . . .