(First, a note on spelling. Harper has been calling my mom Muga since sometime last spring or summer. This is pronounced "mug-ga" and it has been brought to my attention that people are interpreting Muga as "moo-ga." I have a difficult enough time spelling actual words, so to have people correcting my spelling of words Harper invents is a serious insult. However, it appears that, after input on many fronts, that spelling it Mugga, would be less confusing. So, from here on out, I will be using the term Mugga to refer to my mother's relationship with Harper. If I am really interested in procrastinating someday, I may go back and change the spelling in previous posts.)
So Mugga has been visiting since last Wednesday. She came to help out while my dad was traveling for business in Europe. Apparently washing my kitchen floor and playing with a wacky two-year-old are attractive alternatives to staying home alone for two full weeks. There's nothing like breaking up your solitude with some toddler style play time.
As we all know, and some are afraid to admit, it is a grandparent's duty to spoil their grandchild(ren) to the fullest extent possible. (Despite this fact, we have been warned that Harper, due to all the loot from the week, will probably not be receiving a Valentine's gift in the mail. How ridiculous does that sound? How many kids get Valentine's gifts from their parents, let alone grandparents?)
Our first outing to the toy store resulted in a Mylar Hello Kitty balloon and one Elefun game. The toy reviews of this game have been less than glowing, but Harper loves it. Basically there is a motor which looks like an elephant and a long plastic trunk which extends up from the base. You put "butterflies" in the base, turn it on, and then try to catch them with nets when they fly out the top of the trunk. This is remarkably hard to do. I don't think Harper has actually caught one yet, but she runs around, waving her net and screaming with glee, as the butterflies fly from the trunk. Those moments of sheer joy make this game worth it. The butterflies are out pretty quickly, then you have to turn it off, gather them up, and refill the base.
Harper has added a step to the game by insisting the adult playing with her must empty some of his/her butterflies into Harper's net. Then she'll run around and dump those out before helping clean up the insects.
The toy store loot would have been plenty, but Mugga also did a little damage at Target. There were dress up items in the dollar section, so Harper acquired a fairy skirt, magic wand, tiara, and wings. We haven't even taken these out of the packages yet and will save them for a long winter day. Not wanting to stop at dollar dress up duds, Mugga also procured a tent for Harper.
Actually, there were two tents. We brought one home and set it up while Harper was napping. It was so unbelievably lame that we had it back in the box within minutes. We went back to get a different tent. The second tent takes a small amount of actual assembly as opposed to the very feeble pop-up version we tried first. The second tent is awesome! Harper and Mugga played in it for quite some time this evening.
When you are two (and probably a little older as well) everything is simply more fun if it is done in a private, cozy space. This tent even has a tunnel you can use to crawl in and out of it. Yes it takes up quite a bit of space, but it is totally worth it. This will be one of those toys that we leave up for a little while, then put away, and when we break it out again it will feel like Christmas morning to Harper.
We have really enjoyed this visit from Mugga, and not because of all the stuff. We love to have her here, even when no gifts are involved. Tonight, while Mugga was putting Harper to bed, Harper said, "I luf you so much Mugga. Sanks for coming to see me."