Around Christmas time, Monkey found a toy at Safeway that she fell in love with. The toy had been thrown in with some bagged candy, and clearly had seen better days. It was a red plastic Santa airplane that had a button you push to make the propellers rotate and lights came on. It was clearly broken on the bottom when we purchased it… in fact the cashier gave it to us because they didn’t even know where it came from.

A day later the lights weren’t working. A week later the dog ate the propellers off.

Monkey was heartbroken and asked about her airplane every day. Even after it was long gone the questions still came. I told her we could go to Target and she could pick out something different. We did, and when we came home, she said “this needs batteries” and clearly was disappointed with her matchbox airplane.

She continued to ask about her airplane so I told her if we ever saw one at the store she could get another one. One day she declared she wanted a pink airplane, and I told her if we saw one she could get it. Every time I went to the store, any store, I searched. No airplanes that light up and spin.

Then Easter came. As we stood in the crowded isles with the other mommies and daddies who had waited until the last minute, my eyes focused in on a brightly colored flower. Could it be? The same toy – in a flower shape. I grabbed it and pushed the button. Victory was mine! I was the best mommy out there. As I looked closer I realized the bottom had been broken off and the candy was gone. I didn’t care. I would have paid double for this toy. I showed Travis and he couldn’t believe it. I searched all of the isles for more, in hopes that I could stock up. Nothing. This lone toy was meant to go home with me.

We purchased it and gave it to her right way. I am not kidding, before we even got home the lights stopped working. Another heartbreak. I remembered her words to me… “it needs batteries”. I told her Daddy would fix it when we got home. Upon opening the panel, Travis realized the wires were all broken and it was a miracle it worked in the store.

I decided I would see if I could just order some new ones. I looked online and found the website for Candirific only to find out they sell only to distributors, with a minimum order of $500. Heartbreak sets in. To my surprise they had all of their contact information online. I sent an email of desperation to Angie – a representative at Candirific. I explained the situation and asked if I could purchase samples or anything to help with our situation.

After I sent the email, I called my mother-in-law and told her the story. My in-laws own Pioneer Plastics and often sell items to distributors, so I figured she could give me my odds of success. She didn’t provide much hope. She explained oftentimes the manufacturer is bound by contract to only sell to distributor. More heartbreak.

Easter morning was a rush, but I checked my email on the way out. I had a response from Angie. She apologized for the fact the products had disappointed Monkey and agreed to send us a box of samples! I couldn’t believe it. Her kindness overwhelmed me. She then asked for our mailing address as well as Monkeys “favorites” so she could be sure to include them.

The box arrived yesterday and I could not believe how many items she sent to us. She wrote a very sweet letter to Monkey and included her personal favorites including several we hadn’t ever seen before. Monkeys eyes were as big as saucers and it was everything we could do to get her to eat dinner that night. It is pretty hard to eat when one hand is occupied with a toy that requires the button to be pushed. 🙂

Last night she slept with her new pink airplane and I am sure her dreams were nothing but sweet.