When we moved into this house, the Granddaughter was 1-1/2 years old. Cute as a bug, blond hair, blue eyes, pink cheeks and always ready to laugh. For her second birthday, we decided to get her one of those colorful plastic playhouses that's big enough to walk around in. It had a door, windows with working shutters and a cute little kitchenette. Here's a picture of her dressed as Tinkerbell, swinging at a jack-o-lantern piñata during her third birthday party (since her birthday is near the end of October, she has often requested a costume party). The playhouse is in the background.
Because there wasn't anyplace to hide it, I waited until the day before her birthday to buy it. I did not realize how big or heavy these things are until I went to pick it up at Toys"R"Us. Of course, it still needed to be assembled so it was packaged in a large flat box. I was driving a Jeep and a couple of guys from the store strapped it onto the roof for me.
I pulled into our driveway at home and thought I'd just slide it off the roof and leave it for Hubby to put together after he got home. Not even registering that this thing was close to 100 pounds and it took two men to get it up there, I stood next to the Jeep and started pulling it toward me. As it picked up steam, I remember thinking, This thing is heavier than I thought ... uh oh, it's coming off a little too fast ... what if it lands on top of me ... I wonder how long it will be until the nurse next door gets home from work! I've always wanted to be taller and thinner, but this would have been an extremely painful way to go about it. Fortunately, I wrestled it to the ground without bodily injury and Hubby put it together after she went to bed.
We weren't planning to show it to her until we were all home from work and preschool the next day. However, eagle eye spotted it out the back window during breakfast and there was no waiting. She was so excited!
We had filled it with a table and two chairs, tiny dishes, pots and pans and all kinds of yummy fake food. She ripped open the door, squealing, "My house, my house, my house," ran inside, closed the door and popped the shutters open to beam at us through one of the windows. Happy doesn't even begin to describe that face.
Then she opened the door of the playhouse again, smiled up at Hubby and said, "Bampy, come in, come in." She looked like Martha Stewart posing for a magazine cover as she invited her grandpa -- her first official guest -- into her shiny new abode.
Of course, he couldn't have been more honored and wouldn't disappoint. He bent over and gingerly scooted through the doorway until he disappeared, pulling the door closed behind him. It must have been a tight fit, because not a second later, she started shrieking, "Bampa, get out, get out!" The door banged open and he came out much faster than he went in, laughing hard.
And he said, "Isn't that just like a woman? You buy her a house and she throws you out."
That playhouse was truly loved and well-used. Over the years, many friends were entertained there and lots of tea parties were held. She managed to coax the dogs in a few times and held them captive, reading to them and serving them plastic hot dogs. I had my fair share of plastic toast with a funky pat of butter on top and rubbery chocolate chip cookies. She actually did eat lunch out there often -- always a peanut butter sandwich washed down with a juice box.
Ten years later, when she was 12, she finally conceded to the fact that she was done with her playhouse and sold it at one of our garage sales. I think she was truly sad to see it roll down the street in the back of a pick-up truck, on its way to entertain a new little girl. The $50 clutched in her hand helped.