A few days ago, we received a toy catalog in the mail. As our daughter highly enjoys all things book-like, she was eager to turn the pages, but after about a half hour of perusing, she itched to know what all those words said and begged me to read it to her.
Not really thrilled at the idea of reading toy descriptions, I recognized that to a three-year-old, words are words, and she just wanted to hear them. The fact that the accompanying pictures were fun toys only made this better. Thus, I dutifully read through the first couple of product descriptions with her in my lap taking in every word and pointing out the greater points of each individual toy. And I do mean each individual toy - she would not permit me to skip one page (thought she was not the wiser when I began reading only the first sentence of each advertisement, rather than the full, detailed account).
What I loved, though, was how, although she was certainly fascinated by the toys presented, covetousness never really seemed an issue. She wanted to hear about the toys, not necessarily own them all.
That was, of course, until she saw a photo of a girl drawing on her teddy bear.
"Look! She draw on her bear. That's not nice!"
"Well, actually, with that bear, it's okay. Because, see, you just draw on it and then you can put it in the washing machine and it comes out all clean, so you can draw again."
I kid you not, the excitement in the room sky-rocketed. Her eyes were on fire as she considered the possibility of a doll (one of her favorite things) she could color (one of her other favorite things).
"I want to draw bear!!!"
Remembering the "hundred thousand dollars"* she received for her birthday only days earlier, I made her a deal, we would talk to Daddy about spending some of her money on the bear. And, so we did. And he agreed.
For the next 24 hours, whenever she thought about her purple bear (the color she decided she would get), the bubbling excitement sounded something like this:
"I get bear. And I use my money and I draw and then I machine!" (I'm not sure what she thought "machine" meant, but she was pretty excited about it.)
Thus, last night, after watching Baby Penguin on the TV, we headed on over to Toys R' Us and found this on their shelves:
She sure is growing up. And a lot of times, it's pretty fun to watch.
P.S. As she pulled out the markers for the first time this morning, there was definitely a gleam in her eye - the thrill of feeling like she was doing something she shouldn't, but knowing it was allowed. She even announced cautiously as she very slowly moved the colored tip toward the fabric, "I'm going to draw on my bear . . ." as if to say, "Last chance to stop me!" And with each swish of the marker and push of the stamp, she giggled, as though getting away with something. She cracks me up.
*The aforementioned amount received for her birthday was the result of a little girl watching too much of The Chipmunk Adventure. The real amount gifted to her was, in actuality, much, much less (and more reasonable).