That title’s misleading really, I do actually mean toys. Not sex toys, just toys. A child’s plaything. Mind out of the gutter people.
One of the many joys of parenthood I find is reliving large parts of your childhood, whilst using your children as the excuse to do so. Don’t deny it, you know you do it too.
And as I watched my sons this morning playing with their favourite toys, I found myself drifting off into my memories of mine and a few special ones stuck out in my mind.
I’m a girl. come on don’t judge me. What were my parents supposed to buy me in the mid 70′s? And I loved her so. The way she drank, and er … peed and cried. My strongest memory of her is not a good one though, it’s the day my brothers got her off me and threatened to drop her out of their third floor bedroom window. Still a bit hard to write about now to be honest … I’m joking. SO over that, ha ha.
Ah, the marginally disturbing dolls head that you could add make up to. And if the head wasn’t disturbing enough on it’s own, she had a lock of hair plugged into the centre of her head and if you wanted her to have longer hair, you literally grabbed her locks and yanked as hard as you could! It’s a wonder the toy didn’t spawn a spate of attacks on young Beauty Queens and the like. Or maybe it did …
Don’t give me that Barbie nonsense. My Mum knew back then that she was a plastic, air filled airhead. I was bought Cindy, the slightly curvier, more intelligent looking (and cheaper Mum, I know) rival doll. And I had a Cindy Horse! You can’t imagine the excitement overload THAT Christmas. He was called ‘Rocky” and in my imagination he was mine and I was Cindy. Even if I had secretly wished Cindy was Barbie. Don’t tell Cindy.
Holly Hobbie Ragdolls
This is all getting a bit girly huh? My Mum had a Holly Hobbie Ragdoll on her dressing table when I was a little girl. Ooh, the envy. I had a cheaper version of the same and through Christmasses and Birthdays over a Holly Hobbie obsessed few years, I managed to obtain Holly Hobbie books, writing sets (remember those?!), stickers etc. etc.
Then, one day, Mum gave me her proper, original Holly Hobbie Ragdoll. No idea where it is now of course, isn’ it funny how childhood loves fade?! Here’s hoping Mum’s got Holly tucked away in the attic somewhere – I shall ask her next time I speak to her.
Eagle Eyes Action Man
Just to balance things out a little, I remember the toy of my brothers that gave me most boy envy. The English answer to GI Joe (or is it the other way around?) ACTION MAN!! Grrrr.
I had two brothers, goodness knows what I would have turned out like if they hadn’t let me play with most of their toys and hand me downs, clearly everyone else around me at that time was sticking to the traditionl ‘pink and dolls’ when it came to my toys. BUT Eagle Eye Action Man was another story. He belonged to my elder brother, at the time I recall this aged around 12, and nobody else, not NOBODY was allowed to play with him. Not only was he ‘fully poseable’, not only did he have the authentic battle scarred face and the cool bleached blond crewcut (favoured in the early 80′s over the old, black haired version) – HE HAD EAGLE EYES!!! Check that, he’s looking at you. Check again, he’s looking at me now. I think in hindsight it was the unforbidden nature of the toy that made it so desirable. One time when my brother was at school, I got hold of Eagle Eyes and not surprisingly, the novelty wore off very quick. He was soon having tea and ‘snogging’ with Cindy.
As my children get older, I think I must try and keep safe all their special toys as they outgrow them. Even record a few home movies of them playing with them for when they reach my age and go through this same reminiscing stage of parenthood themselves.