I took these photos of you playing last week, and I can't help smiling every time I look at them.
It is just so sweet to me how much you love this particular house, and all the little pieces that go to it.
You know why?
Because this was MY favorite toy when I was little. Absolutely my most prized possession.
The Fisher Price Play Family Home came out in 1969, complete with four rooms, four family figures and a dog (who we called Fido). There was a movable staircase with a coat closet inside, a garage door that opened, and a doorbell that worked. The beds had foam mattresses, and each room had different floor patterns and wall paper. The toilet had a lid that lifted, and the outside patio set had an umbrella that wiggled on a metal spring.
That little blue lady you're holding in your hand there? The one with no arms or legs and a blond bun in the back ? That was "the mom". And I always wanted to "be" her when your uncle and aunt and I played house. The dad had a green body, and the little boy was orange. His name- for some reason- was Petey. His sister looked like a small version of the mom, only with a little plastic white collar and bobbed haircut. I'm pretty sure her name was Sally, but she might have gone by Betty a time or two as well.
You love the Little People as much as I did- each doll is the perfect size for your chubby little fingers. You inspect each family member carefully, and you set them in the different pieces of furniture...the chair, the couch, the bed...
Okay, sometimes you set them on top of your head.... but you get this cute little grin on your face when you do it...sort of like, "I know he's not supposed to go up here, but isn't it cool how I can make him do this anyway?"
We went camping overnight this weekend, and guess what Mommy had to make sure to bring for you?
You never get tired of your dollhouse. Every day we open it up and you army crawl like crazy over to it, as if it's been weeks since you last played with it. You literally sit and play with that house and its accessories for HOURS on end. One day you actually fell asleep on the floor in front of it, orange Petey grasped tightly in your little palm.
Actually this house isn't the one I played with all those years ago. I found this one on ebay last December after searching for one for over a year. If they're in mint condition, with all the people and pieces, they can go for $150. I don't know how it happened...but I scored yours for $25! The foam has worn off the mattresses and some of the green "linoleum" in the bedroom is peeling off. But for the most part it is just as I remembered. I felt like a kid again on Christmas Eve, while I sorted through the pieces and wrapped them up for your brothers and sisters to open up the next morning. You know what is so sweet, Lily? Those wooden dolls even smelled like childhood.
Of course you do enjoy your "modern" toys- the ones with all the bells and whistles and dancing princesses that ride carousels while music blares from a glowing toy castle. After all, who could resist a perfectly pink princess ride-on toy, the one Daddy insisted was something his little girl had to have?
But I'm pretty sure I saw you stuffing Sally behind the wheel....
Some days I really do feel like pinching myself, to see if I'm dreaming. From the time I was a little girl playing house and being "the mom", I've always wanted a family of my own. And here I am, the lucky mama of ten little people, and life just doesn't get any sweeter than this.
Loving you as always,