“Oh no! She’s falling! Catch her!” Railene screams, as Elsa plummets towards the floor. With lightening reflexes, Captain America leaps from the second floor bathroom and catches her in the nick of time!
“Hooray for Captain America!!” The star spangled hero saves the day yet again!
So begins another Dollhouse Adventure in Railene’s bedroom.
A Christmas gift from my in-laws for Railene last year, the Dollhouse has earned some serious playtime. Standing at five and a half feet tall and five feet long, it’s quite an impressive sight. Equipped with a living room, dining hall, kitchen, three bedrooms, one bathroom (Barbie never thought that through) and even an attached garage, it’s the cat’s meow of playhouses. It also became a climbing course for Isaac on Christmas morning!
So for today’s blog I want to share some dollhouse tales with you. After that, my own story, about an unexpected gift I received years ago. So sit back, fill up your coffee/tea, grab that sweet you probably don’t need, and enjoy some tales from The Eason Clan. 🙂
Wake Up Call
Dollhouse time usually starts between 6am-8am. Benaiah being an early riser, he usually starts things off with a three-step “Big Brother wake-up call”. What kind of call is that? In the wee hours of the morning, he quietly opens his door and tiptoes his way down the hall into Railene’s room.
Step #1: Upon entering Railene’s room, he stands by her bedside, shaking her arm with his hand. I do not think she appreciates his attempt, as her audible grunts and groans express quite clearly. If she doesn’t wake with a good shaking, Benaiah resorts to:
Step #2: Turning on her bedroom light. Like the sun eclipsing (I’ve witnessed the brightness through the video monitor), her room goes from pitch black to bright yellow in a moment. If the light fails to wake her, Benaiah begins:
Step #3: Whispering gently in her ear. “You awake Railene? Wake up…” If she doesn’t wake, his voice turns into low a low hiss, “Wake up Raileneeee! It’s morningggg, ssssiiiissss.”
It’s pretty bad being in a deep sleep, having someone sneak into your room, with light suddenly beaming into your eyelids, but to have a older brother acting like a serpent next to your beside, hissing your name, man that’s rough. With the final step complete, she usually gets up quite promptly. Now with that over, playtime can begin.
Sometimes I take a quick peak into her room as they are playing, usually to make sure they’re not destroying anything, but also because of my own curiosity. I am amazed by their imagination! Once, I witnessed Barbie hanging upside down by her pink high heels from the second story floor, while Batman soaked in the tub and Iron Man on the toilet (all pictures are original creations by Railene and Benaiah). Railene had Captain America peeking through the bathroom window, I guess she didn’t want him left out.
Another time I was having breakfast at the kitchen table, when Benaiah and Railene came down over the stairs like rockets. “Dad, daddy! It’s Iron Mans birthday today!”
“Robert Downey Jr’s birthday?” I thought to myself.
“Oh is it? What are you guys doing for his birthday?” I asked.
“We are making him a cake!”
With that they went over to their play kitchen set, and started to make a cake. After three minutes of preparation, the finished product: a delectable chocolate-cake, with a muffin bottom and strawberries on top. The perfect cake for Iron Man.
Once I peaked in the bedroom and it was just Railene playing by herself. I saw her hunched over on the floor in front of the dollhouse. As I looked closer, I noticed she was holding Captain America in her hands and he was…breastfeeding a baby (a miniature monster truck driver). It was all so real, Cap was holding the baby with the proper breastfeeding technique and from the baby came loud gulping sounds(compliments of Railene), drinking from Cap’s ripped, muscular chest. I laughed to myself, as I bet Stan Lee would have never imagined America’s superhero nursing a new-born miniature monster truck driver.
***BLOG INTERRUPTION!!! A GLIMPSE INTO MY WRITING ENVIRONMENT!!!***
(8:00pm- I have made three attempts to write two sentences in the past 15 minutes… Attempt #1. Railene needed to use the bathroom, and was standing at my bedroom door calling my name. After turning on the bathroom light for her, Benaiah walks out of his bedroom to inform me that I am talking too loud and that we are keeping him awake. After I apologized, he walked back into his room. Railene then finished and went back to bed.
8:10pm- Attempt #2. I sat back down into my chair, began to write on my phone, when out strolled Railene. “Dad you need your sticker.” I meet the blonde haired, 3ft girl standing in the door frame. After receiving my invisible sticker, she then walks back into her bedroom for a second time.
8:15pm Attempt #3. After sitting back into my chair a second time, tipping my white travel mug to my lips, my door begins to slowly open. Guess who? You got it, Railene. “Dad, where are dese gone?” as she points to a Christmas nativity sticker sheet.
Oh Lord, why did we convert her crib to a toddler bed?
“Railene. That’s enough. It’s time for bed.” With that in walks Benaiah. Stopping just shy of my door, standing in the pitch black hall in his Ninja Turtles pyjama shirt and blue and black monster truck pyjama pants (I can hear you OCD’ers cringing). “Guys, you are keeping me awake for hours!” he exclaims. (Time correction: it’s actually been eight minutes). So I escorted her back into her room, apologized to Benaiah a second time for keeping him awake, and tuck him in bed.
I am back in my chair. It’s now 8:20 PM…
Now all I can hear are the war drums coming from the Twins room. Every night, while falling asleep, Ava repeatedly bangs her head against the crib railings. War drums. Echoing. Pounding. It’s so loud.
They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums, drums in the deep.Gandalf. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
My focus is waning…
***BACK TO MY BLOG!!!***
Like Benaiah and Railene, as a child I would spend countless hours playing with my toys. Battling with my army men, making forts, digging trenches in the sand and fighting large scale wars in my bedroom. I had a wonderful imagination (and still do) that would take me away into a playful realm, where it was just me and my toys.
I remember one special gift that I received from my parents at Christmas. Looking back, I see the unconditional love of my parents and how that one gift meant the world to me as a child but also now as a father. Not because of monetary value but the love behind the scenes. Here is that story.
It was December of 2000 with the snow falling and the wind hollowing outside. I was 10 years old, lying in my bed one night with a Sear’s Wish-book, searching the toy section for a Christmas gift. How I loved the Wish-Book! So many action figures, LEGOs, board games and toys littered across the pages, it was like a treasure map of everything a kid could want!
This particular Christmas though, my parents had told my brother and I that because of a recent job loss, it would be different. My mother said that we could choose one toy, nothing too “big” (expensive). I knew from our discussion that my parents were serious so I didn’t get my hopes up.
While searching the pages I came across the ultimate gift for me. A 1/6 scale World Peacekeepers Army Command Centre. Similar to Railene’s dollhouse in size, this army base/ field hospital was awesome. It came with a full military operating room, surgery table and surgical supplies; a command room with radio set, complimented with chairs, a table and other accessories. Up the stairs was a look out room, with a mounted machine gun.
The base was made for 12inch fully posable soldiers. It was my dream gift. However I knew it was something I wouldn’t receive, as the price was $99.99(in 2000) and that would be WAY outside the “nothing to big” range. I remember telling my parents that I wanted that, but I also gave a list of smaller gifts as well.
Fast forward a couple of weeks.
It’s Christmas morning and my brother and I enter the living room. I remember seeing the gifts all laid out under the Christmas tree. And there, towards the back of the tree was a HUGE wrapped box. I quickly went over just to see the tag: “To: Christian. From: Santa.” I honestly had no idea what was inside, and sat in wonder staring at this present.
Shortly after my parents came downstairs, we began opening presents. My turn came, and I slowly opened up the large box, and there, in all it’s glory was the World Peacekeepers Army Command Centre! I couldn’t believe my eyes, I honestly thought I wasn’t going to receive it. I quickly turned to my mom and dad and exclaimed, “You did get it for me! I thought you wouldn’t!”
“Well it came from Santa.” My mom said with a smile.
I knew though, as my parents sat and stared at me with wide grins and with a look of satisfaction (which now as a father I understand) that they were happier than I was.
These past few weeks I’ve found it difficult to write. With everything happening in the world, especially with the Coronavirus, it’s all felt like a blur. Before the virus, I could sit down and write continuously for an hour or more. Now I can barely write a paragraph. Why the sudden change? Honestly, I believe it could be stress and at times, fear. Fearing the unknown. Fearing for my family and friends who could be vulnerable to this pandemic. Wondering if things will continue to get worse, etc. I have let a wave of fear that comes before the virus slam into me, and times it feels like I’m drowning.
So like a child going to a special imaginary place, I started to find myself remembering the times when I didn’t have worry or fear. Growing up in a safe, loving home, my day to day concerns were who I would play with, or where I could explore next in the woods behind our house. I believe these memories were triggered by watching my own children play in their own special way. No fear. No worry. Just fun.
So why am I stuck in this rut of fear? I guess it’s because I’ve put my focus on the “unknown” rather than “the One who knows.” Over the years when I’ve battled with anxiety and fear, due to life experiences and challenges, I have always found comfort/peace in reading my Bible and prayer. Now like never before, I have been reading Psalm 91. The Psalm of safety and protection. David’s prayer to God to help him.
Years ago when my parents told us that things would change due to the job loss, they also said everything would be okay. I trusted them. I put my hope in them, because they are my parents, and I believed that they had everything under control.
Today my friend I can say with confidence, there is a one that we can put our trust in. His name is Jesus. Because right now, “the unknown” for you “will I get sick?”, “do we have enough money to pay our bills?” or any other fear that crosses your mind, can be crippling and overwhelming. The virus only hit North America hard in March. It’s now only April. The largest, most well equipped cities are being pushed to the limit. Yet in all of this, there is still hope.
We can’t wish the virus away. We can’t bury our heads in the sand either. However we can put our trust in God, pray and trust Him through this storm.
All the best, stay safe, and see you next time on The Eason Clan.