We're playing with Mega Bloks. Me:"I love you" 3yo:"I love you too Daddy" After just over 2 yrs that's 1st time she replied with that! *heart melts*
This post was going to be a review of a pack of bricks the lovely people at Megabloks sent us to review. And indeed, it still is. But along the way it changed into something entirely, wonderfully different too.
As a blogger, I'm often contacted by PR agencies asking whether I would like to review products. That's not the reason I blog, as I'm sure any regular reader knows.
For that reason I am selective about the products I review. The benefit of course is that we are sent things for free to try out and then for me to write a review about. So, while the allure of getting free items is undoubtedly a strong one, I stick to only agreeing to accept, and write about, products I know we would like and use.
Which probably explains why the review section of this site has only one other review in it.
So, when I was contacted and asked whether we would like review some Megabloks I, for once, agreed. We have a couple of packs already. The kids love playing with them, and the new styles being introduced looked fun and interesting.
Like a large version of that other well know plastic brick hailing from Denmark, one of their main benefits for me is that they are easily visible with the naked eye. If you step on one of these babies then it's going to be your own fault. Not only are they big but they are also vibrantly and engagingly coloured.
The pack duly arrived and our three year old daughter couldn't wait to play with them. Spread out over the floor we were very quickly playing. Imaginative. Fun. Engaging play.
We made a number of things together. Castles. Palaces. 'Princess Houses' which I assume are actually the same as the two previous categories, but I didn't have the heart to disabuse her.
We played happily spread with the bricks across the sitting room floor. She engrossed with construction, me acting as builder's mate.
"I love you," I said. Naturally. Quietly. It's something I say very often to both the children, usually many times each day. Often in different circumstances. Providing reassurance. Offering forgiveness after they've been reprimanded. Just showing them the immense, unconditional, ever growing love I feel for them both.
I didn't always feel like that towards our daughter. It would be wrong and dishonest of me to suggest I did. It took a little while for her to acclimatise to our family. It took a little while for the immediate sense of caring and compassion I felt for her to germinate into love.
But not that long.
Our daughter was only just over 18 months old when she came to live with us. Children that small don't tell you they love you. They don't realise what that feeling is. It takes a while to connect the emotion to the expression.
Adopted children can take even longer. Indeed, sometimes that link is never made.
The adopted child can struggle to understand love. They can be wary of it. Uncertain that its expression might somehow cross the rubicon. Acknowledging a permanence they still distrust. Repeating an expression they may even have learnt in their previous lives to profoundly mistrust.
Even when they use the expression, there may be no certainty it is sincerely meant. In our son's case he came repeating the phrase as if by rote, in the manner and accent of the voice box of a teddy bear whose catalogue of expressions provided, for a long time, his only comfort.
Our son has learnt to understand and mean what he said when he tells us he loves us.
Our daughter has never used the words.
So I said 'I love you,' to our daughter as I always do. Words of affirmation, recognising our shared enjoyment, expecting no response.
Without lifting her head, without stopping the construction in which she was engrossed, our daughter answered; "I love you too, Daddy."
I stopped. Silent. Our daughter still engrossed. Savouring the significance of the moment. All the more important because it was said so naturally and unthinkingly.
And we continued making walls, houses, castles, dragons.
We even managed to re-create the building on the front of the packaging. Which I have to say I thought was pretty impressive - so often the contents don't match the packaging's graphics.
Our seven year old son returned home. Desperate to play with them once told of the arrival of the new bricks.
So after dinner he persuaded his sister to play with him again. Providing a good hour of engrossed entertainment for both children as, for once, we relaxed over our dinner. Happy that the children's post dinner entertainment did not involve sitting in front of the tv.
The bricks have been played with many times since then. Conveyed between the sitting room and the children's bedrooms in their carry case. Engaging both our daughter and her elder brother for many happy hours of joint, creative, construction and play.
It wouldn't be a proper product review if I didn't have to tell you a couple of things about Mega Bloks promotion, would it?
So, thank you Mega Bloks. Thank you for your great blocks to try out. But thank you so much more for the outstanding, unique, special moment. The moment our daughter told us she loved us for the very first time.