Last year I wrote a series of blog posts about the doll house I had built for my in-town granddaughter. This was a secret project I took on since it was ultimately going to be a Christmas present for her. I started the construction in February and whenever I was not working on it, had to keep it hidden away. I finally finished it by the end of May and then it had to go into hiding in a closet for months until Christmas arrived.
Seven months later on Christmas Eve, it was finally time to place the doll house under the Christmas tree to await her arrival the next day.
When my granddaughter first came into the room on Christmas morning, she barely noticed the doll house making a quick beeline for all the presents wrapped in Frozen-themed paper to the left of the doll house and exclaiming “who are all these frozen presents for?”
Before even really noticing the doll house, she quickly dumped out the contents of her stocking with their enticing suckers sticking out the top prior to turning her attention to the many wrapped packages.
My wife and I wanted to ready her doll house for play and so, many of the presents wrapped in her Frozen paper contained the furnishings for each room of the doll house. She found the first on opening her second package. (A word of explanation, Santa in our house does not use name tags ever since long ago our kids began to recognize my wife’s handwriting on the labels. My solution was that each recipient, both child and adult, got their own exclusive wrapping paper and Santa left the secret code to me.)
With her own bedroom furniture discovered, I quickly demonstrated how the doll house could easily be turned around on the wheels that I had installed, and she quickly chose to make her bedroom on the top floor.
Interestingly next to be opened was the kitchen furnishings…
…which she chose to also locate on the third floor right next to her bedroom (which is actually similar to her real home, just on the first floor).
After opening the fourth or fifth box of doll house furniture, which actually comprised the bulk of her presents, she declared she was tired of opening up furniture.
But she kept plugging at it as she filled most of the rooms and then eventually moved in the little family that modeled her own in 1/12 scale: a daddy, a mommy, a little girl, and a baby brother.
Then she invited her mommy to play with her and started a very creative game as they each took on their real-life role in miniature.
Then it was time for Mimi (my wife and her grandmother) to join in the fun.
And the two of them played with it for most of the rest of the afternoon.
After an uncertain and rocky start, it was most satisfying for me to see how much she played with it.
When it was time to take her home, I had to unload all of the furnishings and box them up for the trip home. Then I carried the doll house outside and carefully loaded it into my wife’s car.
Once home, her daddy found a nice table to set it on and she began the meticulous process of moving her furniture back into the home.
She continued to play while supper was prepared and at one point when I walked back into the room, she said unprompted in the words as best as I can recall, “Granddaddy thank you so much for building this doll house for me, it’s so much fun!”
I could not have been more pleased!
The months of construction (actually for me, fun), the fear she would barge in one day while I was working on it, or discover it hidden in the closet (I eventually put a lock on the closet door) had come to a wonderful reward. I had first broached the subject of building her a doll house with her parents just after Christmas in 2019. A year to the day later in 2020, that dream of mine had come true in a most wonderful and satisfying way!