Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sunday Scribblings ... TOYS.

The Sunday Scribblings girls wanted to make it lighter this week ... the prompt is Toys!

New babies in the family bring to mind how things used to be. Toys are beginning to appear. $70.00 for a plaything for our new girl shocked the socks right off me. A couple of lengths of psychedelic coloured man made material with brightly coloured shapes hanging from it. Add batteries and Bach or Mozart will serenade our little treasure and by the time she's six months old the thing can be adjusted to become a night light with some additional new fangled devices added so the mobile part will rotate ... can you believe it?

I know, I know I sound like that bloody old stick in the mud I swore I was never going to be. At the unveiling of the contraption I didn't express my horror, I kept my opinions to myself, and tried to reassure my doubtful self ... that's how it's done today. I refrained from sounding disapproving or judgmental ... I quietly wished I had shares in a toy factory!

In my day ... I cringe at that term ... I was adamant I'd never use it ... but here it is!

In my day a length of fabric from the bottom of a tattered sheet or thread bare towel strung through a couple of wooden cotton reels was usually baby's first toy. The cloth was long enough to slip over bub's head. Baby would be propped up or sit for hours twirling the cotton reels. A soft fabric ball hand sewn from scraps of fabric thrown into the air, rolled along the floor or gently thown toward the bub was another toy. We scrunched paper to make a noise, we allowed them to play with a spoon and as they got bigger a wooden spoon banged onto the tray of their high chair was all the entertainment needed.

We saved up to buy the first teddy bear. One that made a gentle growling sound when tipped backward or forward. We put soup mix, aka dried peas or beans into the corner of a piece of cloth as a noise maker. We clapped hands, snorted like a pig, blew raspberries, clicked our fingers, goo goo gooed, whistled and laughed ... all without batteries.

As my Dad aged toys of a different kind featured. He wanted what we grew to call his 'boys toys'. First was a new top of the range electric / battery operated shaver. Next he demanded a battery operated CD player, a small battery operated radio, a battery operated toothbrush, a battery operated hand held fan. Eventually the cost of batteries use was becoming exhorbitant as he'd forget to switch his toys off.

The purchase of a battery charger with re-chargeable batteries was going to save time and money. Dear old Dad would invariably plug the unit in then forget about that as well consequently burning the life out of the batteries ... on second thoughts forget the shares in a toy factory I'll settle for shares in a battery factory.


anthonynorth said...

Toys are big business now, unfortunately. And I know what you mean about 'in my day'. I vowed never to use it either, but we do.

Understanding Alice said...

I have one of those growling bears! it was my mothers :) oh, that makes it sound like shes passed on.. she hasnt, shes alive and loving being grandma to my nephew... another round of toys then!

paisley said...

i don't feel the least bit like an old bitty when i cringe over what they charge for toys these days.. and the way the media makes them all must haves for every child.. that is disgraceful too!!!

Tumblewords: said...

I use that phrase often without a feeling of guilt! When children visit me, we make paper airplanes, use blankets/tables for tents and they never seem to be bored. I can't imagine paying that much for a toy, or a piece of clothing. Thoughtful post!

Wendy said...

I think that parents forget that PARENTS THEMSELVES are/can be great big toys if they take the time and energy. I loved what you said about blowing raspberries, clapping hands, goo-gooing. It works! In fact, it reminds me of something I recently saw in all of the Michael Jackson footage. Barbara Walters asked if he played with his children, and he said he danced for them. There's lots I don't like about Michael Jackson, but the image of him dancing to make his children smile makes me smile!

Dee Martin said...

oh man, blanket tents were the best. My grandmother would help my best friend and I build one and we would have seven up and peanut butter sandwiches (cut in little triangles) in out tent house!
I left a bottom drawer in my kitchen for wooden spoons, plastic cookie package trays, jar lids and the like. While I cooked supper my kids could play in that drawer. I spent tons on toys and batteries over the years but that was their very favorite thing. I am in total agreement - in my day!!

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