When my daughter was a baby, my aunt gave me a wooden doll’s cradle and high chair that my cousin had as a young girl. My aunt had kept it in storage all these years, and since my cousin was blessed with three boys, she was kind enough to pass it on to my little girl.
Because my daughter was still too little to play with dolls, and we didn’t have much room for it in the small bedroom she shared with her big brother, we opted to hold onto it for a couple of more years.
Last Christmas was the year. She was 3 1/2, and fully engrossed in playing “Mommy” to all of her dolls. We put the cradle and high chair under the tree with her many gifts. When she bounced downstairs Christmas morning, she made a beeline for the cradle, and began rocking one of her baby dolls back and forth. We had a tough time getting her to open the rest of her gifts!
We did not want to lose sight of the fact that this is a family heirloom, though. In other words, don’t toss these toys around like they just came off the clearance shelf at The Dollar Store. So, we tried to impress upon her the significance of the gift. We told our daughter that this belonged to another girl in our family long ago, and that Santa had kept it safe, knowing that she would take good care of it. She seemed rather impressed with both the gift, and with the fact that Santa was endowing her with such responsibility!
Needless to say, she loves that cradle and high hair. She often has 2 or 3 dolls napping in their cradle, while she feeds another a bottle and Cheerios in the high chair. Recently, my daughter graduated to her very own bedroom, and she was thrilled to help me decorate it. The first items to find a home in her room (after her bed and bureau) were her high chair and cradle.
When she is a bit older, and Santa fades away, I will retell the story of her high chair and cradle. I will tell her that Mommy’s cousin cared for it first, and that her Aunt thought that she would take care of it as well. If all goes well, I am sure that Santa will regift it again someday.
Thank You Aunt June, and Lori, for the lovely gift!