I feel like it’s been forever since I peeked out the airport window, looking over East Aurora, NY as we circled the runway in Buffalo. I remember quite vividly, the well-dressed gentleman waiting for me at baggage claim, holding up a sign that said ‘Mr. Kulp’. It’s been quite some time since anyone has called me anything other than daddy. I remember how good it made me feel, like I was an adult.
Parenting is one of those jobs that we’re all so thankful to have, even if it sometimes seems thankless.
Working with Fisher-Price over the last few months has been like a dream come true for this parenting blogger. To have the opportunity to be welcomed into their headquarters and inner circle, meet with their executives, designers and EVP, all while spending several days, literally walking through toy history – has just been plain surreal for me.
It’s been quite the ride…
So many things have happened since me and my new friends and colleagues had an experience that we’ll never forget.
Chelsea of Someday I’ll Learn has had her (third, good luck sister!) beautiful baby boy and continues teaching us about life on their farm. Rachel from Rachel Cooks insists on flooding my Instagram feed with pictures and recipes that have me calling an audible, canceling my earlier dinner plans and following her step-by-step. And when Jennifer of BabyMaking Machine isn’t on the air as TV personality, she’s inspiring us to create and remember beautiful memories with our children.
I miss my new parenting friends, as well the incredibly generous and personable staff at FP, but I know that we shared a moment, in fact we shared several, joined together by a company formed from a vision that Irving Price and Herman Fisher had way back in 1930.
It’s funny how this company, this family, has a way of uniting people, friends and most importantly, offering an opportunity to form stronger bonds between parents and their children.
This journey has really shown me something incredible. It’s allowed me to write about a brand that’s been in my life since I made my way into the world in March of 1976. It’s allowed me to inspire conversation with other parents all across the country, people that I’ve never met. We’ve shared stories and memories together, inspired simply by looking at a photo of a toy that we all remember playing with.
How incredible is it that a toy isn’t just a toy? It’s almost as if it’s got a heartbeat and life of it’s own. It holds a special place in the heart and minds of thousands of us – a common thread that allows us to reminisce about our childhood and perhaps, enjoy our new lives as parents, watching our own kids form a new relationship with the same exact toy we played with decades ago.
I’ve had the pleasure of surprising fans of Dad or Alive and Fisher-Price at the same time, giving first-time dad Harry from Kansas City, Missouri, a new Play Yard for his first baby. I caught Erik of Quakertown, PA, off guard and sent his daughter Devan, a Little People School Bus just in time for Christmas. And I can’t forget about Emily from Vidalia, Georgia, who’s daughter, Olivia, I thought would really love the Roller Blocks Wall as she begins to crawl, stand and play. There are probably a dozen more parents who I’ve gotten to connect with and I appreciate that more than they probably realize.
I sometimes feel like I’m on an island, as a stay-at-home parent and blogger. We each have our own ways of raising children. As my mom often says, ‘to each his own’, which makes sense. What works for one parent and child, may not work for another – and that’s fine.
Fisher-Price reminds me that despite our differences, there’s one thing that we all have in common – LOVE for our children. We want to see them grow and learn and develop their senses. We want to see them sharpen their motor skills and communication, but beyond all, we just want to seem them smile…and have fun.
I want to thank you guys for following this adventure that I’ve had and with any luck, stay tuned, hopefully there will be more to come.
In the meantime, I’ve got one more ace up my sleeve – the SpaceSaver Jumperoo. I know that someone out there could really use this for their little one – something to help with baby’s jumping and kicking action. If only they made one of these in my size. Enter below to win!