"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Saturday, May 15, 2010


DH and I grew up in very different places. I was pretty much a city kid growing up in the US and Germany, taking toys and TV for granted, while Wayne was a country kid in Australia, without TV for much of his childhood and toys a rarity. "What did you do when you wanted to play?" I asked him, and he fondly recalled his cowboys and indians battles with his 3 brothers, pouring kerosene into puddles and lighting them (!), and playing with marbles. We did have marbles in common!
The first toy I remember having is this gorgeous Steiff teddy, which is still one of my treasures. I was about three years old that Christmas, and the box under the Xmas tree was nearly as tall as I was. My parents said I should open the box, and when I did, it tipped over and unleashed an almighty GRRROOOWWWL! Terrified, I ran into the bedroom and hid behind the bed! It took a lot of cajoling to get me back into the lounge room with that fearsome box! Once Mum & Dad opened it, the most adorable teddy appeared, and after Dad tipped him over a few times to show that the growl was harmless, we became fast friends. Most of my toys were of the animal variety. The Steiff company was very well represented, and I had an amazing wooden circus wagon on wheels, a great prop for playing circus with all my animals. One of my favourites was a little puppy dog, which accompanied me everywhere. After losing him on a flight between the US and Germany, I was inconsolable, and the first thing Mum had to do after landing was find exactly the same one - which she did! My godson inherited the puppy, and now his little girl plays with it. I was never that fond of dolls, except for one I remember for her long hair, which I turned into elaborate hairdos using Mum's rollers and bobby pins. When my sister came along, we played with Lego a lot. We also had a supermarket and a dolls house, but they only came out on Christmas. We spent hours 'shopping' for miniature groceries with chocolate coins, and stacking shelves, and eating the produce.... Later toys were novelties, such as green 'slime' - icky! Or those troll dolls with nothing but hair and a squashed nose - remember those? And Smurfs! I think we had every Smurf under the sun! What were your favourite toys?

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely nostalgic post! I love the image of you fleeing the growling bear! It's surprising you came to love it so after a frightening introduction.

    I loved toy trucks (real ones too) and my beloved cap gun, complete with holster. My mother worried that I spent too much time with four male cousins; she insisted I play with dolls, wear dresses and carry a purse. Even though I had a few Barbie dolls I still loved to play with dirt and twigs; for some reason my sister and I called it "African cooking." I loved building blocks, Lego and trolls too. No Smurfs for me, but my stepsons came with them.