If you recall, for Katie's birthday in November, we gave Crazy Grandma a list of great toys to choose from. I'm with Katie all the time and I'd been paying very close attention to the kinds of toys she plays with at preschool, so I had a nice list all made up. Anthony laughed when I showed him my list, because according to him, nobody was going to follow it. However, I still believe that if he had simply given C.G. the list and let her choose, we might have gotten something from it.
C.G. is very generous and likes to give BIG presents that will make an impact. She's also an artist and loves to encourage her other grandkids to pursue art. With this in mind, I would have asked her to buy Katie an easel (BIG) with assorted paints, brushes and paper. Perfect, right? No, instead Anthony told her to get Katie a tiny toy microwave. There was no way C.G. was going to be satisfied with getting Katie something that could fit in a breadbox. And that's the backstory of how we ended up with a giant hunk of plastic (aka Cupcake Kitchen) in our hallway.
For Christmas, my mom asked me what Katie would like. And since Katie is STILL talking about the Minnie Mouse microwave she saw in a toy catalog, I told her to go for the microwave. My mom has no qualms about giving something small, as long as it's something Katie would like. So she ordered the microwave and had it gift-wrapped and shipped directly to us (so she wouldn't have to bring it on the plane.) The package arrived well before Christmas and we prudently hid it in our closet so Katie wouldn't be tempted to open it early. I also opened the shipping box to see whether it had indeed been gift-wrapped. (It had.)
Fast-forward to Christmas Eve. We're all hungry and grumpy at C.G.'s hostage party, and we're letting the kids open gifts. Katie has already received the MOST OBNOXIOUS miniature synthesizer, complete with a microphone and a turntable that screams "YEAH! YEAH!" when you press it. This was from Anthony's brother, who is on a mission to pay us back for several obnoxious toys we've given his kids over the years. The difference is, we didn't have kids at the time and didn't know how awful these toys were. He, on the other hand, knows full well what he's doing! LOL. Katie also got the absolute cutest and cleverest toy camping lantern. It has a tiny little light bulb and a dimmer switch. It even has an auto shutoff so the batteries don't go dead. It is darling and she's going to get so much use out of it in the future. I'm thinking: reading under the covers, blanket forts, backyard campouts, etc! For now she likes to put her arm through the handle like it's a purse. Hey, whatever.
Anyway, around this point, C.G. handed me a present to give to Katie. In the split second between taking it from her and handing it to Katie, I recognized the shape of the object inside. IT WAS THE *&#%@ MICROWAVE! So I intervened. I explained that I knew what it was and that Katie has one waiting under the Christmas tree at home. C.G. was pretty disgruntled about this. She says that she told Anthony she was going to save the microwave for Christmas when she gave Katie the Cupcake Kitchen. Anthony swears that no such conversation ever took place. I'm inclined to believe him.
So although Crazy Grandma was very unhappy to be upstaged by Crazier Grandma, we held firm. Crazy G reluctantly agreed to return her microwave and get something else. On Christmas morning, Katie opened up Crazier G's microwave and it was love at first beep. Katie has a pretty long attention span but I've never seen anything like this. She was utterly enthralled. And she has played with it every day since, for wonderfully long periods of time! She loves the plastic play food that came with it, and takes particular delight in microwaving the cans - orange juice, grape soda and beans. (Why would they include cans with a toy microwave? I can't think of any reason you should microwave a can, under any circumstances!)
It is unbelievably gratifying to see a child take such delight in a toy, particularly such a simple one. I think I'll let pictures tell the rest. Enjoy!
|What is it?|
|Your very own microwave!|
|I'm pretty sure she's saying, "Cute!"|
|Put the food in, and...|
|Round and round!!! (A light comes on while the turntable turns!)|
|Ding! It's ready!|
|Best gift ever! I love Christmas!|