Monday, December 10, 2012

Mission complete—but oh, what a day!


Oh, Santa, you do work hard.
Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero, rgbstock.com
Parents, you know how it is. When your child requests something special for Christmas—something he or she just has to have—you'll go to any lengths to make the dream come true.

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.

Whew.

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?

36 comments:

  1. As I was reading this I was thinking of the movie "Jingle All The Way" -- you didn't end up in a parade, did you??!

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    1. That would have just topped it all off just right, huh? ;) LOL

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  2. I'm lucky this year. My boys have asked for presents in general terms, except for a very specific board game that for some reason or another my oldest has to have. When I was a little girl I wanted a little miss makeup. Dolls were uncharacteristic for me, but that year I had to have her.

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    1. Lucky you! I hope you're able to find the game. I think I'm too old to remember Little Miss Makeup. :)

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  3. Both my kids are at college, so their Christmas wish lists aren't nearly as crazy as they used to be.
    But, my son wants a new printer for his computer.
    And I think that will cost more than a Sweet Dreams Dora.
    Crap.

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  4. I'm glad you found the Dora! I'm searching all over for a mud hippo webkin for my son. I can't find it anywhere!

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    1. Thanks. Good luck with your search!

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  5. I thought those days were over for me, but then came the grand kiddies who just yesterday was learning everything to train a dragon and now I have to find the latest in Ninjago toys! Went to 4 different places in 3 states to find what I needed. :/

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  6. My kids aren't quite old enough to beg for certain toys just yet, but I have been on the lookout for Dinosaur Train toys. We were waiting till we got back home for our Christmas visit to purchase it, but now I'm feeling a bit antsy that all of the good ones might be gone!

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    1. I know what you mean about that antsy feeling. No matter how early I start looking for a certain toy, I feel like I might be too late. :)

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  7. I do the same - I want to pick out the doll and make sure she looks pretty. As to your online shopping - my friend Adam has a theory they could never remake "Jingle All the Way" because Arnold's character would just get it on eBay. I'm sure your daughter will be very happy!

    I tagged you in a little thing on my blog - http://www.kjmclaughlin.com/2012/12/u-got-look-just-little-late.html - Feel free to do it unless you already have! :)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who studies all the dolls in order to find the prettiest one.

      Thanks for the tag. I'm back to writing poetry right now, but maybe I'll dig out one of my novels for this. :)

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  8. I honestly don't remember Dagan ever asking for anything in particular for Christmas. He knew he got matchbox cars in his stocking and he always loved those. He was always so happy with whatever presents he got. Or maybe he never asked because we were pretty poor most of those years when it was just he and I. We always had great Christmases, though. :)

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    1. Sounds like you have some wonderful Christmas memories!

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  9. I did the whole frantic Santa thing this weekend. My son wants a playhouse badly. He cries when he has to leave the playhouse at his preschool. We're on a tight budget, but I wanted to get one for him for Christmas. Playhouses aren't cheap. We missed out on one sale. There was no more stock at another store. Finally we found one yesterday at Menards. It's sitting in the shed for the time being awaiting for us to put it together after the boy goes to bed on Christmas Eve. The things we do for our kids. :)

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  10. Good for you, Dana, for finding it!!! I'm sure your little one will love it come Christmas day!! Yep, been there, done that. Son wanted this particular remote control car when he was eight years old. That was before we had internet and sales online I think were just starting. But he had to have this particular car. Looked high and lo, called stores, etc. Finally, I believe God put the car there; hubby was doing one last look over at the toy store before we called it quits that it would be under the tree and he saw one. He grabbed it. Of course son loved it. Then I got wiser and the minute I knew they wanted something, I got it immediately before they became hard to find. Like Furbys when they were popular one year.

    betty

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    1. That's great advice! I'll have to remember it next year: buy as soon as my kids express interest in something. :)

      Furbys are popular again, it seems. I've come across a lot of them in the stores.

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  11. Dana I can remember, those nightmare shopping trips when it seemed that the much coveted toy was sold out EVERYWHERE! Once spent 3 days in pursuit of a robot dinosaur for my youngest. (Internet shopping was too expensive back then) So glad my girls are all grown up now!

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  12. Oh my, o-my! Did this bring back memories.

    For my daughter it was "cabbage patch" dolls.

    For my son it was the lighted Star Wars Laser sword thingy. I got in an auto accident going to pick up that sword from a store that was holding its last one for me!!

    I so understand.

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    1. Yikes—sorry about the accident. As Christine wrote in her comment above, the things we do for our kids. :)

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  13. Retired Knitter and I must have kids the same age. Getting TWO Cabbage Patch dolls was really a challenge. It meant daily trips to the toy store to see if a shipment had come in. And where I live, there are 7 sizable cities clumped together offering MULTIPLE opportunities for disappointment on a daily basis. But we finally succeeded in getting Lena Lulu and whatever the other one's name was.

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    1. I remember the Cabbage Patch craze. For some reason, I never got into them. I saw some in the store the other day and thought about picking one up for my daughter. Maybe someday... They're definitely a lot easier to find now.

      Love that name!

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  14. so i know!
    my prize was beats headphones, online unavailable, multiple stores, settle for 2nd choice colors...headache!
    ah but they will be happy
    they have no idea what we do (& how much we love them) until they have kids =)

    merry christmas!!

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    1. You're absolutely right. :)

      Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  15. 1984 - Cabbage Patch dolls! Craziness, I tell you. My daughter wanted one...we were stationed in Idaho, the middle of nowhere. I don't remember where we found the thing, but we found it! A year later we moved to Virginia, and the doll was lost in the move, never to be seen again. ARGH! For us, those days are over. :-) So glad you found Ms. Dora for your little one. Keep an eye on her! :-)

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    1. How frustrating that must have been! I'll definitely keep a close watch on Dora. :)

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  16. Phew..so relieved you found your Dora. For a moment there I thought you were never going to find her. Oh the things we go through for our children!

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  17. This reminds me of the movie "Jingle All the Way".

    Haven't had a toy on my wishlist as a child that was hard to find. My brother though, wanted the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers Ultrazoid or something rather and there was a three page waiting list at Toys R Us of people wanting to get it.

    I can remember the Tickle Me Elmo shortage and Play Station 2 shortage... but these items have never been on my family's wish list.

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  18. I am right now! For a Transformer toy that my son has absolutely no idea what it's name is! Whenever we go to the store, we never find it, so he's asked Santa for it - and I hope against all hope that I'll be able to figure out what exactly it is he wants! LOL!

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    1. Yikes! I can't even imagine... Good luck finding that nameless toy!

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