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VALLEY MUSINGS: New toy adds to holiday chaos

Donna Thompson
Sentinel columnist
Posted 1/8/23

I’ll admit I was curious to see in action the present my youngest sister gave our 6-year-old great-niece for Christmas.

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VALLEY MUSINGS: New toy adds to holiday chaos

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I’ll admit I was curious to see in action the present my youngest sister gave our 6-year-old great-niece for Christmas.

“It’s a doll that flies,” my sister told me during one of our pre-holiday telephone conversations. She had sounded out the child’s mother on her choice. “She’ll love it!” was my niece’s response.

I had no doubt this was true. My youngest sister is generally the one to come up with cool gifts. Mine seemed rather mundane by comparison - a drink bottle that was on her wish list, a pair of leggings and a small no-mess coloring book. For her 2 ½-year-old brother I bought a little outfit, a book and a toy truck.

Anyway, on the Friday after Christmas my two younger sisters and I loaded presents and clothes, food, treats and personal items into vehicles for a trip to the Rochester area to celebrate Christmas with my niece and her family.

It had already been a busy week. My youngest sister had arrived a couple of days before Christmas, just ahead of the snowstorm that hit the Watertown area and in time to help prepare for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations, and stayed for the following week.

We baked, shopped and wrapped presents for Friday’s trip. We took two vehicles since my youngest sister and I would be heading home Saturday while my next-younger sister would be spending Saturday night with her grandkids so my niece and her husband could go out for New Year’s Eve.

Two lively children greeted us when we arrived at our destination. Their mother seemed considerably less lively and we sent her to take a nap while we entertained the kids.

The 2-year-old was a study in perpetual motion interrupted by frequent diaper changes. It was easy to tell why my niece was tired.

Later that afternoon, we exchanged gifts. The 6-year-old was pleased with the drink bottle and the coloring book while her brother worked his way through his presents, taking each item encased in plastic to his father, who freed them and added batteries where needed.

The flying fairy doll was a hit and as soon as its battery was fully charged, my great-niece was set to launch it on its first flight. She set it into its base, its skirt began spinning and the fairy rose into the air. When it started to descend a hand held underneath would send it upward again - at least until it banged into a wall, light fixture or gawking spectator.

The family dog seemed to think it was either an invasion of some sort or a toy for her. In any case, she began barking and jumping and trying to catch it. She was sent outside prior to the next launch, but continued to watch from the deck, barking and pawing at the sliding glass door.

The toy was set to charge again overnight and the 6-year-old was eager to launch it as soon as possible on Saturday morning. We eventually gave in to the inevitable.

The dog was tricked into going outside and watched and barked and pawed as my great-niece launched her toy again and again.

After a morning of playing games, reading books and putting together puzzles, my youngest sister and I ate lunch, packed up our things and headed for home.

“I expect the novelty will wear off,” I commented as my sister wondered aloud what the children’s parents thought of the new toy.

If all else fails, maybe they’ll hide it.

Happy New Year.

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