December 3, 2010
The toy I never wanted. The toy I never understood.
I received one of these in a gift exchange. I'd seen them on television and they puzzled me.
What did you do with them? How did you play with them?
There were no stairs in our home, and after you'd juggled them a bit--which took all of ten seconds--what was left?
I knew how to play with my doctor's kit, my dolls, my dishes, my chalkboard, my toy cash register and all my stuffed animals.
My play was elaborate. Our living room was the waiting room to see the doctor--which was me. The examining room for my patients was my parents bedroom. I loved giving my patients shots and telling them it wouldn't hurt.
When my patients finished they could go to my restaurant in the kitchen, where I took their food orders on a real guest check pad. I cooked the food, served it on my real china toy dishes, and when they finished they paid me with play money which I placed in my cash register.
And while they did all of this their kids were at school, located in my bedroom--complete with child size table and chairs, chalk board, red pencil, foil stars and my own old school papers which I graded while the 'kid's--my stuffed animals and dolls--did their seat work.
As I taught with my Lee press on nails I stood by the chalkboard at the front of the class.
So--how would a slinky fit into this elaborate play scheme?
I never figured it out and that is one of the few gifts--along with play dough, and marbles and kites in the spring--that I didn't welcome or really appreciate.
I could never get a kite to fly, marbles were pretty but the game made no sense--though jacks did--and play dough--it didn't spark any creativity in me. If anything it limited it. One can of play dough, one color like yellow. What can you create with a lump of yellow play dough?
Give me a Mr. Potato Head. At least he came with a variety of elements and I could create several persona's.
Shoot give me a new fancy dress with a 'can can' slip and a pair of black patent leather shoes plus a pair of ruffled lace top socks. At least I could wear those and feel like a little princess.
But a slinky? No thanks.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."