Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with just the IDEA of a task that I have to do and I'm so filled with dread that I continue to put it off until I know I can't any more. I organized the play room today. I've been putting it off since before Christmas since I knew it was a disaster, that it was FULL of toys and that it was going to take a really long time (see the bottom of this post for the before and after pictures). Since my husband was home this week, I thought I'd snag the chance to get started on it while he watched the kids. I printed out some labels and headed upstairs by myself with a cup of coffee.
I not only had to pick up all the toys, throw away broken ones and sort everything, I had to reassemble the Barbie dream house that until today I was regretting buying for my daughter. Plus, I had to reassemble all the goofy car tracks and ramps that we'd gotten for our son. Thankfully, my husband took breaks while the kids were quiet to come help me. But it was that Barbie house that changed the whole experience for me.
We bought the dream house for my daughter for Christmas in 2010. She was only 2 1/2. I really don't know what we were thinking, buying it for a little girl that young. She wasn't all that into it. But her little brother was. I know he didn't mean to break all the parts and tear it all to pieces but he got so excited about things like the lights turning on when you open the front door that he ended up ripping off the door in a burst of joy. The same with the light up hot tub, refrigerator, singing shower and the flat screen TV the rises up out of the back of the fireplace. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to put it all back together but I'm glad I did. It was actually fun. When I was little, I was into My Little Ponies and Barbies. I hated (and am still creeped out by) baby dolls. Putting the dream house back together and putting clothes back on all the of the 20 or so Barbies took me back to my childhood. It was fun to be girlly for a few minutes. I'd have had a blast with this house when I was a kid. Putting all the foods in the fridge or hanging up the dresses in the closet, setting up all of Barbie's purses and rearranging the furniture. It'd have kept me busy for HOURS! And today it did.
I had a blast straightening it up and having fun with it. It's nice to every once in a while remember what it's like to be a kid and use your imagination a little. It was also nice to be able to have a little bit of fun with something that I was trying to hide from. To find some secret joy in a task that made me cringe just to think about.
The best part was that when I was finished, my daughter sat in front of it, seeing it all put together as it was meant to be for the first time since Christmas morning over a year ago. She gasped, being the dramatic 3 1/2 year old that she is, and said, "Oh, Mommy. It's so beautiful!" It made me giggle but brought a sense of joy knowing that I was able to make her day. I'm glad now that we bought it because she's at an age where she'll be able to enjoy it and through the next few years, will enjoy it even more. It's always nice to be able to completely understand and share the happiness your child is experiencing.
It made me wonder though if we ever really grow up. I probably could have sat there today and played with the house for quite a while. It really is fun. My husband can sit for hours and set up our son's GI Joes. He LOVES to show my son all the neat details in his diecast collectors cars (nothing but a bunch of ridiculously expensive... and heavy... toy cars, hahaha). He's just as bad as I am though. We could still play with toys almost like as if we were kids only yesterday.
I think the secret to not aging is to just not age. Wisdom is one thing. Age is another.
This Wannabe Supermom is going back upstairs now to watch my daughter play with her Barbie dream house and pray that she invites me to join her.
This picture was taken about 20 minutes into the "process"
They got to it before I could snap a pictures so it's not quite as straight as it was.