|Oh, Santa, you do work hard.|
Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero, rgbstock.com
I was on one of those missions yesterday. My task? To locate and bring home this doll: Sweet Dreams Dora. I'd seen her in stores all over town. Piece of cake, I thought.
I should have reminded myself of what holiday is coming up. Oh, and I probably should have considered one other thing:
For some reason, every girl loves Dora.
I drove to the local Toys R Us, where I'd seen the doll a few months ago. My first moment of panic hit when I discovered that the store had relocated its Dora section. Once I found the right area, I scanned the shelves, expecting to grab the doll and run to the register, but ... no Dora.
Actually, I should clarify: no Sweet Dreams Dora. There were Dora phones, Dora accessories, and baby Doras. There was a mermaid Dora, a plush Dora, and a bathtub set featuring Dora and her monkey friend Boots.
What there wasn't was a Sweet Dreams Dora.
On to the next store.
Once I had parked in the back forty of Target's crowded parking lot and made the hike to the store's door, I hightailed it to the toy section, raced to the Dora aisle, and stood gasping for air as I perused the shelves. That didn't take me long. They were nearly bare.
It's probably needless to say this, but I'll say it anyway:
No Sweet Dreams Dora.
I waved an exhausted good-bye to that store, trekked back to my Town and Country, and drove on to the next Target. By then it was raining, so I racewalked from the depths of the parking lot to the far corner of the store, where all the toys live. Be there, be there, I mumbled as I looked down each aisle.
I finally found the right section, and there on a shelf of picked-over toys, shining as if lit by a spotlight (okay, so I exaggerate) was my prize, the elusive Sweet Dreams Dora. A father looking confusedly at Barbies stood in front of her, blocking her from my reach, and I apologized as I nearly pushed him out of the way and captured that prized doll. "I've been to three stores looking for this thing," I said, and he nodded in understanding. He knew. All parents do.
I carried Dora to the register, holding my breath until the cashier gave me the bag and a thank you. Dora was mine! For a time, anyway. She will be my daughter's soon. At the moment, she's enjoying her temporary home in the crawl space, but come Christmas morning, my little girl will find Sweet Dreams Dora beneath the tree, her Santa dreams come true.
Now I know what you're probably thinking: Why didn't I just order the doll online and save myself the hassle? The answer is simple.
I am weird.
Don't get me wrong; I love shopping online. In fact, my husband and I sat down the other night and ordered several toys online. When it comes to dolls, though, I can't bring myself to click on Add to Cart. I like to pick them out myself because I always want to buy the one with the cutest face and best hair. It's shallow, I know, and also a waste of time since my three-year-old has a tendency to treat her dolls not so kindly anyway, but that's the way I am. Of course none of that mattered this time since I had only one doll to choose from, but hey, I tried! And I'm just glad I—I mean Santa—can make my daughter's dream come true.
So tell me, have you ever had to search high and low for a toy for your child? When you were a kid, what toy did you just have to have?