She has always been content to simply browse in a toy shop, perhaps giggle at something interesting, maybe even hold it for a while, but she is content to just put it back and move on with her life.
It makes birthdays and holidays interesting because what she wants isn't something wrapped up in a box. She really would be just as happy -- probably more so -- if you'd let her sit on your lap for some one-on-one time.
But if there is one thing I've always wanted to get her it is a sandbox.
When at daycare, she is happiest when they go outside to the playground, established in a giant ground-covered playground. She will sit there and cover rocks, her legs, anything she can reach. I pick her up from daycare, take her home, and dump out extraordinary amounts of sand from her shoes and pockets.
Yet, we've never gotten a sandbox of our own, at the house. She has a water table, which keeps her busy for long stretches of time, and she enjoys playing in the pea rocks at the base of our playset.
But no sandbox.
I considered it, briefly, for her birthday this summer. But they're so large, and they can be kind of messy. And it would really be just another thing for Ray to mow around, to put away, to keep covered.
This past weekend, we were just bumming around downtown, visiting a few antique shops and a little chocolates store that has a huge selection of Melissa and Doug toys, which I love. And there, on sale, was something I'd never seen before: a miniature sandbox. An itty bitty little ladybug-inspired sandbox. Millie didn't know what it was of course, all wrapped in shrinkwrap, but I knew she'd love it.
Once home, I opened it and was extremely impressed. All these miniature toys -- from a figurine that easily transforms from human to mermaid to tiny shells to a rake and shovel -- were perfect. And the sand isn't that icky kind that gets stuck to everything. It was easily brushed up and shaken off of skin and clothing.
There as one little hiccup as Lola, who isn't used to not getting the new toy for herself, realized that it was Millie's turn to take the lead with something.
But, together, the girls learned to share and take turns. It really was quite lovely.
"Blue," Millie signed. Blue sand. Like water.
A perfect afternoon.