Life’s changed so much these last few years. Who would have thought when I was 30-something I’d be sweating it out trying to find that perfect Christmas gift for my 2-year-old. But I’m pretty excited. My bidding on the perfect Little Tikes dollhouse ends in less than a hour. It’s complete with lots of accessories — little moms, dads, babies, tables, chairs, van, swimming pool, bathtub, cradle. You get the picture? Really cool stuff for my little girls.

It’s my first eBay experience. As technologically savvy as what I care to pretend, I’ve never actually purchased anything from America’s favorite online auction site — and never would I have dreamed I’d be bidding on something my little girl wanted for Christmas. Something that the Little Tikes toy giant no longer makes. Something now considered a collector’s item. Something one can only find on the Internet.

I had checked online earlier but could only find a new Victorian-style dollhouse for Barbies at the Little Tikes site, which was really too big of a house for what we had in mind. Besides, my daughter wanted one just like she played with at her cousin Katie’s house in Vincennes. It’s an early 1990s model but the first thing she runs for when we visit Aunt Paula’s. It’s funny that it doesn’t take long for children to demonstrate what they want — all while being able to pronounce only a few words.

Now that my children are 2 and almost 1, we figure the really fun Christmases are just beginning.

My husband’s looking so forward to Christmas Eve when he can get their presents out and all put together under the tree. And he’s dreaming of having that dollhouse all set up and ready to go for Christmas morning. I couldn’t tell you how many times he’s asked me, “Are you still the high bidder?” or “Maybe we should increase our maximum bid.” But now I’m getting nervous about making it happen. What if another bidder sneaks in at the last minute and tries to steal my dollhouse? I’m going to have to break for lunch and go home to finish out the bidding — there’s only 29 minutes and 14 seconds left.

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I did it! I won! But it wasn’t before my husband called the house to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to check my bid. I don’t know which of the two of us is more excited about our purchase. It’s going to look great under the tree all set up on Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see the sparkle in my girls’ eyes.

I was afraid eBay could become addictive for me, but I’ve decided it’s too time consuming, and we’re still both a little uneasy about using a credit or debit online. So I guess it’s back to the stores — where ironically it’s probably not much safer.

But as we look forward to all the unwrapping, squealing and delight of Christmas, it will still probably be the laundry basket and kitchen cabinets that fascinate them the most.

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