Monday, August 06, 2007

Teddy Ruxpin

Yesterday, a visit to Metro Manila’s newest mall, Trinoma, led to our discovery of the first Philippine store of Toys R Us. Although John and I are empty nesters, with three grown up daughters but without any grandchildren yet, we went inside the store to try and relive those days when our children were children.

Toys R Us has always been a big thing in our family. Every foreign trip would not be complete without a visit to a Toys R Us store. In 1986, when we traveled to the United States for the first time, we went to one in Los Angeles. It was exciting to be in such a huge store, with an overwhelming array of choices, but our budget was tight. We had picked out three different toys for our three daughters when we chanced upon a new toy – Teddy Ruxpin. He could talk! And move his mouth and eyes as he talked! Being the first animated toy, he was expensive. We simply could not afford him on top of the individual gifts we had already chosen for our girls. Sadly, we put him back on the shelf.

We went around the store looking at other toys but we could not get our minds off Teddy Ruxpin. We had really fallen in love with him. We thought, if we returned all the toys we’d carefully picked out for each of the girls – 10-year-old Ching Ching, 6-1/2 year old Anne Kay (now nicknamed Kathy) and 3-year-old Sacha, maybe we could afford to get Teddy Ruxpin. And maybe, the girls would not mind not having their own personal “pasalubong” if they had Teddy Ruxpin instead.

Teddy Ruxpin was such a hit with the girls that they did not mind sharing him among themselves. We agreed on the particular days when Teddy would be assigned to Ching Ching, Kathy or Sacha, but at unassigned times, they would have to co-own Teddy.

The sharing scheme worked well! In a way, it was a good thing that we could not afford three Teddy Ruxpins – one was all we needed to teach and learn about joint ownership, waiting for one’s turn, and sharing. Teddy Ruxpin may not have been intended to teach about sharing, but that’s what he taught us.

What memories going to a favorite toy store can bring!