Yesterday was a rollercaster ride all centred around the high of becoming a Toys R Us Toyologist. I cannot even begin to convey the great sense of pride that they liked our little blog, and our little family, enough to chose us to represent them for the next six-seven months.
A great deal of time was spent on twitter last night with several of my other fellow Toyologists (The Crazy Kitchen, Inside the Wendy House and EdSpire) discussing what would be involved, how many deliveries of toys we would have and how frequently, when would we get the information e-mail sent through, etc. I decided to go Googling and see what I could find out from the previous round of Toyologists blogs.
Reading More Than Just A Mother (by the excellent Emily Carlisle), I realised that there was going to be an awful lot of toys coming our way over the next half a year. Although the programme has been altered to reflect the viability of reviewing that many items, there is still going to be more than enough for one little boy. In my questionnaire which I received as a result of being shortlisted, I stated that I would be reviewing the toys with my niece and nephew, and would also hold Toyologist tea-parties with my baby and toddler group. That much remains true; I will do those things because I know how much enjoyment they will get out of it. However more worthy benefactors will be needed.
As Uncle Ben told Peter, "with great power comes great responsibility."
Now, I do realise that I am not Spiderwoman (a good thing bearing in mind my opinion of arachnids), however I do have a responsibility. I have a responsibility to my son to ensure that he doesn't 'expect' things to arrive for him without having worked for them. I have a responsibility to ensure that he grows up as a caring and responsible child, considering the needs of others before his own. I have a responsibility to prevent him from becoming spoilt.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not spoilsport mummy entirely (apart from when it comes to playing with mud); yes he will get to play with the toys and keep some of them, yes we will be giving a few to friends and family, and yes some of the toddler groups in our area (who may find it difficult to obtain resources from other areas) may benefit. However a significant proportion of the toys will be donated (once reviewed) to two local children's hospitals. One of them is Tŷ Hafan which offers comfort, care and support for life-limited children and young people and is dedicated to improving the quality of life of their whole family. Ty Hafan, and I, believe that play is a very important therapy for not only the children suffering from life-limiting illnesses but also their siblings. It is a magical place which needs all the support it can get.
The other children's hospital that I would like to donate to is the one that The Boy was in for five days when he was three weeks old. The Children's Hospital for Wales is amazing and without it I don't want to think what would have happened to our family. The hospital has been built in stages and almost entirely from charitable donations. The Boy was in for less than a week and I was overwhelmed at how amazing the staff and children were. However one little girl had been in for 13 weeks with severe eczema, and she was just one of a handful of children confined to the ward for a long period of her short life. I'd like to give back to them in a small way and I know that those children would appreciate new toys to play with.
We are so pleased to be ambassadors for Toys R Us and, through this, to be in a position to help other children less fortunate than The Boy. Thanks Toys R Us, we won't let you down!