Dear Ms. Pocket,
This is a letter of apology and of gratitude. I will admit, Ms. Pocket, that the first time I laid eyes on you, I thought you were a cheap, nasty plastic toy that came accessorised with multiple choking hazards. I discounted you as rubbish, hardly hiding my disdain, which I'm sure you found very hurtful. How wrong I was.
As we enter week five of the summer holidays, a period during which our household has been blighted by contagious diseases, lightning strikes and dodgy weather, you alone have proved reliable, safe and an unbelievably creative force on my children's imaginations. Who, other than Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise or perhaps Kylie, could have thought something so diminutive (and dare I say inanimate) could hold such power?
Polly, (I hope you don't think me too familiar now as I reach my third paragraph) I admit that I tried to replace you with an inflatable paddling pool, a trampoline, Nintendo DS and even books, but have realised that these objects are no match for your personal brand of allure. You are a hero amongst mass-produced Chinese toys!
I used to disapprove of your vast fleet of environmentally-damaging cars, camper vans, planes and helicopters, all in lurid colours, but no more. I'll admit to being slightly envious of your extensive fabulous shoe collection which I have to bend down hundreds of times a day to clear from the floor, while squinting at accessories smaller than my pinkie's finger nail. I try not to get irritated when you use my bathroom sink as a bath, but wonder if perhaps you could cut back on the vast amounts of liquid hand soap you use as bubble bath. Just a suggestion.
But you're worth all of this almost imperceptible trouble. My girls may emerge at the end of this summer looking pale, bleary-eyed, unwashed and hungry despite my pleas to bathe and eat, such is their devotion to Polly world, but their mother will emerge sane (well no crazier than before the summer at least), without having had to resort to trips to HoppeLoppeHell, interminable games of memory game (like last summer), or even much conversation.
As I pack for our trip to Ireland, I am of course reserving space for you whom I now consider to be as essential as nappies, 10 pairs of high heels (mine, not yours) and Aidan's favourite sippy cup to a successful (i.e. one without attempted filicide or the need to drink enough to end up in rehab just to cope) holiday. I'm afraid you'll have to leave your private jumbo jet behind but hope you'll understand the baggage constraints of travelling with the masses.
Finally, I'd like to say 'thank you' for teaching me a lesson about the dangers of judging plastic dolls shorter than Tampax, with dubious plastic hairstyles and retro taste in plastic clothing, by appearances. I was wrong to give you away the first time you were gifted to us. By goodness, am I glad you gave us a second chance. You are my hero.
A Chastened, Grateful Mother
An open letter to Polly Pocket
Dear Ms. Pocket,