Here's a product that's got both the miss and the hit thing going on! Last year, it was a miss. This year, it's a hit. I present to you:
The Bouncy Castle.
We were very excited to find this thing last year. It was Joy's big 4th-birthday present from us and the grandparents, plus party entertainment all rolled up into one. Joy is a natural jumper, loving trampolines and carnival bouncy houses and all such. Even better, it only cost $200 shipped! (Prices have gone up. I can't find ours online anymore, but here's a link to a very similar one.)
The castle is pretty easy to set up and take down. It stakes into the yard with 4 tent-pegs, and the tube in the back attaches to a fan (not pictured) that stakes down with two smaller pegs. Run an extension cord to an outdoor outlet, turn on the fan, and the thing inflates before your eyes. You can put in up to three kids, total 180 lbs. Totally awesome.
Except... Joy didn't want to go in. All the other kids at her party last year were clamoring for their turn, but she was unimpressed. Not with friends, not alone, she just did not approve. If we actually lifted her in, she'd lie down. Or scramble out.
Fortunately Rose and her friends got some good use out of it before the snow flew, although we found that the afternoon sun limited the play time -- in direct sun, it got very hot very fast.
Jump forward to this spring, and I decided to pull the castle out again for another round at one of Joy's therapy play dates.
This time? She hopped right in and started bouncing.
We had a wonderful fun playdate with the bouncy castle this Tuesday. Not only was her usual buddy there, and his mom, but we had a double dose of therapists, and then another friend and HER mom came by to drop off a belated birthday present. And stayed to bounce. Rose, meanwhile, was holding court indoors with three friends there. I love it when a playdate snowballs!
Neat happening as the playdate was winding down. The one girl and her mom were leaving, and the mom told Joy goodbye with a big wave. And Joy grinned at her and WAVED BACK! She barely even knows this mom, but gave her a lovely farewell. The therapists and the other mom erupted in a chorus of "OH my gosh -- she WAVED -- JoyMama, did you SEE that -- she actually WAVED!" The recipient of the wave was a little bit stunned at what she'd taken for granted!
The next day Joy waved again, this time at Lynda's, to someone else she didn't know all that well. Fascinating.
I'm getting rather far afield from the product review, but that's how things have been going lately. Sorry to be a little scarce around here. Since the schedule kerfluffle around JoyDad's surgery, I've been strung pretty tight, with more plate spinning than usual combined with a lower tolerance for any of the plates getting wobbly. Feeling overly anxious over things that ordinarily wouldn't throw me. Bleah. Hoping that things will settle down as JoyDad continues to recover and we get the summer underway.