TGIF, dear readers!
Time for another Fun Friday writing exercise. If you haven’t participated yet, today is your day, because this topic should resonate with everyone.
What was your favorite toy as a child? What made it your favorite toy? Does it have any connection to who you are–or what you love–today? Where did it come from? Do you still have it?
My favorite toy was a wooden dollhouse. Mom made it from a kit, painstakingly punching out the pieces, sanding them, painting them, and gluing them together. All the furniture in the house was made from wooden kits. Mom had a heck of a time hiding this gift from me that Christmas–she must have worked long into the night after I went to bed.
It’s unusual that I loved the dollhouse so much, because I wasn’t a girly-girl. Far from it. I was always making mud pies and playing a game called “Stinkbomb” with the boys (it basically involved taking something rotten from the garden and throwing it at each other while yelling “Stinkbomb!” at the top of our lungs). I hated dolls. Someone once made the mistake of getting me a Holly Hobby doll, and let’s just say that poor thing suffered.
I was charmed by the sight of a world in miniature, but I think it was the toy’s capacity for imaginative play that lured me in. My little doll family loved, laughed, and fought in that house–sometimes I’d get carried away by the story I was acting out. I’d yell so loudly Mom would run to find out what was wrong.
That little house inspired plenty of envy among my girlfriends. One friend begged for her own dollhouse, and we then debated the merits of wood versus plastic. It’s laughable now, but it was all too important then. I was scared to let other kids play with my dollhouse, because I was terrified of it breaking. Later on, Mom bought me much fancier, factory-made furniture that was stained to look like the real thing, but as I grew up I realized how much love and work went into the original tiny toilets and beds. I’m not sure what happened to the old dollhouse, but I do have most of the second set of furniture (although much of it is in disrepair).
I’m still captivated by miniatures, and hope to have a dollhouse again one day. I have a shoebox full of miniature food, china, and household items, just waiting for a place of its own. To me, a dollhouse is all about stories, because it encouraged me to start telling them.
Your turn! What was your favorite toy?