Some time ago I saw a competition on the Toys R Us facebook page which asked "Have you got what it takes to be a toyologist?"
I was already familiar with the group of Toyologist who post some fabulous reviews of toys on their blogs and social networking sites.
The children from my first marriage are all grown up young ladies now. Apart from video gaming and the odd family board game, the toy market has not held much interest for me... until recently.
The unexpected addition of two new babies to my family, one in 2008 and one earlier this year, has meant that suddenly I am plunged back into a world of Fisher Price and VTech. The Toyologist reviews have been very useful in terms of making sense of the products available and seeing the all important 'mummy perspective'.
I must admit that I did harbour a bit of a fantasy about being a Toyologist myself. It certainly ranks up there as dream job with Chocolate Taster and Brad Pitt's Masseuse. There was nothing to lose by submitting an entry to the competition so that is what I did.
At school, I loved science and went on to do my University degree in chemistry. I decided to do a video entry for the competition with a 'scientific' feel to it and my 2 year old daughter as the star. I didn't have a little lab coat, sadly, so I dressed her in a white T- shirt and leggings just to give the impression of a scientist, with geeky glasses to finish the look (actually glasses from the cinema when I went to see Saw 3D, with the lenses pushed out). Her little table was a good lab bench and I painted a couple of props to try and create the right atmosphere. I was quite pleased with the scene setting but I had no idea how my daughter would react and if she would co-operate.
Maybe my enthusiasm for the 'game' was contagious because she loved playing her starring role. I just let her get on with it to see what she would do and she obligingly provided me with enough video footage to edit together my finished piece.
If that had been the end of the story I would have been happy because I had a lovely time putting it all together and the video will be one I'm sure we will look back on with great fondness when my little girl is no longer so little. But that wasn't the end of the story.
Today I found out that out of all the entries (and there were loads!) mine was chosen as THE WINNER.
I am now the latest member of the Toyologists group!
It is very exciting and I am chomping at the bit to get started. I am actually going to be without internet for the next few days so it will give me a little time to reflect on what it all means and how I can best fulfil the role, sharing my thoughts and ideas about the toys I will be reviewing.
I feel like I am at the start of a big adventure and one thing is certain ... the fun begins here!