The Ghost Of Christmas Past* came to visit me recently (I know, so early) with a message:
“This is your only chance to right a previous wrong,” It said, with an ominous rattling of chains as it floated around my living room.
“Your daughter is too young to really know what she wants this festive season so why not introduce her to the toy you REALLY wanted as a child but never received? You know the one!”
Having read A Christmas Carol, I knew what was coming next so, naturally, I decided to follow its suggestion and try and head off the ghosts of Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come before they appeared.
And Christmas Past did have a point – it’s not like Freya, being only 14 months, is particularly interested in any one thing and would get a special kick of opening it on Christmas morning (as we all know, children at this age are much more interested in the wrapping paper and box).
Anyway, it can’t be another #mummyfail against my name if a ghost told me to do it, so I set about sourcing said present.
Luckily, I knew immediately the toy the apparition was speaking of. A moment of silence for the wonder that is….
The A La Carte Kitchen by Bluebird.
(Photo from Do You Remember.)
Many, many, many (you get the picture) years ago now I wrote to Father Christmas – even though I suspect I was getting to the point where it had been brought to my attention that he perhaps did not actually read my letters.
I specifically asked, in great detail, for this kitchen, which I had longed for and dreamed of for months.
Just in case Father Christmas was, as I suspected, busy with other things, I backed it up with a strategic campaign of reminding each of my parents and my granddad at every opportunity that this was my desired present – although not so often that they would get cross and say I couldn’t have anything at all.
Christmas Day came and just before 5am I was up and ready to cook everyone a glorious celebration breakfast, just like the little girl on the advert who made a lovely Swiss roll and baked beans combo.
I rushed downstairs and was presented with….a blue typewriter.
I don’t think this went down terribly well although I have blotted out what I am sure was a case of extremely brattish, spoilt behaviour from my head – save for the bit where the typewriter was cast to the highest shelf in my bedroom.
I might have complained just a little bit in the days that followed and even whined that I had WRITTEN TO FATHER CHRISTMAS.
That was when my mum broke the news that my letter had indeed reached the big fella but he had got in touch with her to say that, with deep regret, I was “too tall” for the kitchen.
That’s right. TOO TALL. For a child’s kitchen. When I was a child.
It was a life changing moment – as can be seen by the fact that I have clearly never forgotten it.
This year, at the ghost’s request, I have the chance to get a little kitchen for
me to play with my daughter to play with and hopefully make sure she never experiences what is known in certain circles as “Blue Typewriter Trauma”.
I started looking around at what is on offer and, my goodness, things have changed.
Now a child’s kitchen can look like this….
…which, quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind as my adult kitchen – and, as we live in a flat, it is probably the same size. And just in case you think those cupboards are fake…
I certainly don’t think the “too tall” excuse would wash these days, even for a 38-year-old!
I should add that, attempting to be a more Earth-friendly parent, I’ve been scouting the local charity shops and Facebook selling pages for a suitable second-hand kitchen, which saves us money and the planet resources as it’s already been made.
Also, I now suspect that Father Christmas did not communicate with my mum and that perhaps things were just a bit too tight that year for them to afford an expensive piece of plastic. As a result I have magnanimously forgiven them.
Was there ever a toy that you longed for but never received? Have your parents ever come up with outrageous excuses? Did you have a fabled A La Carte kitchen? Please comment and let me know.
* Actually my mother-in-law** who asked if I could come up with a Christmas wish-list for Freya***.
** I should add, my mother-in-law is not the least bit ghost like and is in fact really lovely.
*** She did not mention that the present should be something I wanted. #mummyfail.