Monday, July 3rd, 2006
You Can’t Buy Imagination, or…The Cost of Playing Post Office
My daughter is heavy into pretend play at 2 years of age. She cooks up grub in her toy kitchen and dances around in goofy dress-up clothes.
So I was thinking, toddlers love animals. Why not let your young’un pretend to be someone who works with animals on a daily basis, a postal carrier. Here is what you will need:
A Cardboard Mailbox by Children’s Factory is a free-standing corrugated public mailbox with an envelope slot and side door for postal carrier access. 14"w x 30"h x 13"d. Cost: $18.95.
A Mail Carrier Costume includes shirt, shorts, visor and mail bag, available in toddler size 2 to 3. Cost: $44.95.
A Plush Pit Bull is necessary for complete realism. Cost: $16.99. Sorry, mace and pepper spray are not sold in toddler-safe containers.
25 Cotton, 24 lb, White Business Envelopes by Mead for your kid to address her own mail. Your child shouldn’t touch synthetic envelopes. Only pure natural fibers for your precious little one! $30.93.
Two sheets of self-adhesive official USPS Picture Book Animal stamps. Two sheets are needed to address all 24 envelopes. Half the stamps will end up on your child’s hands and face anyway. Cost: $12.48.
I know what you’re thinking. If your kid won’t realize the patches on his postal carrier costume are labeled "United States Courier Service," why can’t you pass off kitten and puppy stickers from the Dollar Store as legal postage? Well, he can’t read yet. Kids learn numbers sooner than they spell words. If you can find square or rectangular stickers with space for you to hand write the current value of postage, by all means, be a cheapskate.
Albert Einstein rollerball pen by Krone. Envelopes don’t address themselves you know. Graduate from Baby Einstein videos to the Einstein pen. Jumbo size for small hands. Cost: $5,060.
Total cost to you for post office pretend play: $5,204.29, not including shipping charges. Add $499.99 for the optional Naturally Playful Welcome Home Playhouse by Step 2 because it is built to scale with the Step 2 MailMaster Junior Mailbox.
Plan B: Join the United States Postal Service and slowly begin stealing office supplies over a 16 month period before impregnating your wife, so as to not arouse suspicion.
Plan C: Dumpster dive for one or more large boxes, and tell your kid the boxes are whatever they need to be. I gave my daughter a bouquet of nonexistent bamboo shoots yesterday to feed her plush panda bear and she didn’t blink an eye when grabbing them from my hand and stuffing them in the bear’s face. Stop reading product blogs. You can’t buy imagination!
Uh, except my blog. Please keep reading Thingamababy.