Medical marvels and terrific toys
One morning we decided to have a little potter up into Sheringham to buy an ice cream. The girls were squabbling about who was to walk infront and we were a little jaded. We passed a toy shop, and before we could walk them on by, the door opened and they darted in. It wasn’t just any toy shop, it was an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful wooden toys, lovely clothes, classic books and magical colours and shapes. The back room was tiny, and a treasure trove of dressing up paraphernalia. We forgot about the girls in our own sense of wonder, I stood watching a marvellous machine cast dancing vivid butterflies on the ceiling in the dressing up house. I wished I was 3 1/2, I wished I had space to fill with fabulous fanciful toys and I wished I had the money to buy the entire contents of the shop. It was called Heirloom Toys.
We were both persuaded to buy treasure for our daughters, and as we were paying I asked the lady behind the till (she was born to work in a toy shop) if they might be interested in stocking my own book, Milky Moments … she thought so but suggested I contact the owner. We left, had our ice creams, had a swim in the sea and then ate fish and chips as the sun went down … and once the girls were asleep, sat, with a glass of wine and set the world to rights and reflected on the day; the sand castles, the sea, and the glorious toy shop.
A few months on and the same glorious toy ship is now stocking my book, and they sent me a gift. Well not me exactly, my daughter.
She has long been fascinated by all things medical. She’s been to the doctor with me while I’ve had injections, she’s watched me have an X ray, she’s given me a spoon of medicine and now spends at least half an hour a day pretending either to give birth or healing one of her sickly dolls. Her friend, the one we went to the beach with, has a doctor’s kit, whenever we go round they fight over it and eventually settle into a truce and take each other’s pulse, look into ears and listen to heart beats. My daughter always cries when it’s time to go home, to leave her friend, and the doctor’s kit, behind.
In the end I bought her one, she was delighted, but it was rubbish, fell apart quickly and looked so flimsy. All this however was remedied when a box arrived from Hierloom Toys. I put it on the kitchen table, the normally reluctant hand washing completed in super fast time and the green tissue paper began flying. When she saw the picture of the Doctor’s Bag on the box she gasped out loud, “Mama it’s beautiful, I love you”. She couldn’t get into the box fast enough (rather annoyingly neither could I due to sellotape and short finger nails, but we got there in the end.
Forget the plastic flimsy doctor’s set, this was different. A lovely smart red doctor’s bag (the proper squishy old fashioned shape), with a big white cross on the front, and inside, well inside were every single thing a young doctor could possibly need. A stethoscope, a syringe that goes up and down, a knee banging reflex testing device, a bottle of medicine, a jar of calamine lotion, an ear listener, a thermometer and most excitingly, a blood pressure machine, with a lovely blue gingham cuff and a dial and a little pumping ball.
Every piece of the kit beautifully made, cheerfully painted lovely wood or soft fabric. She’s often happy, but this pushed her beyond happy to utter contentment, then absolute delight and on into her own little world. Then, “lie down Mummy, you’re sick and I’m the doctor” … I must have had at least 20 injections and be the person with the most measured blood pressure. We made bandages from strips of the packaging as well and played for about 2 hours.
That was a week ago, and every day since then she has assessed, diagnosed, ministered to and healed me, her Grandmother and all of her dolls and bears. She is the proudest small doctor and regularly just gazes at the bag and smiles in a whimsical fashion, “Mummy it’s beautiful. I’m a doctor Mummy, and you’re sick”.
The red doctor’s bag take pride of place in whatever room she invades, and we have serious stress when she’s discouraged from taking it out to the shops, or into the bath. She adores it, and that makes me so happy.
If you’re in Norfolk, do pop into Heirloom Toys, they have two shops, in Sheringham and in Burnham Market (both glorious places for a visit), and if you’re anywhere else then check out their website for a small selection of the adventure that’s inside their shops.
If you’d like to be in the draw to ‘win’ the other beautiful green tissue wrapped box full of medical marvels also known as the Le Toy Van Dr’s Set and a copy of my lovely book Milky Moments, all you need to do is like Heirloom Toy’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Heirloomtoyshop and leave a comment on the pinned post there about the give away letting us know why your child would love to win this toy using the hashtag #DoctorsSet. If you also click ‘like’ on the http://www.facebook.com/milkymomentsbook page you’ll be in with a double chance of winning this double prize as you’ll go into the hat twice if you’re a ‘fan’ of both pages.