April A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015: B is for Barbie

#DailyWings: “I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

Blogging From A to Z

Here’s me letting you in on a little secret: I hate taking showers. I don’t like being naked and freezing while I hurriedly lather soap all over my body. I can’t stand the surfaces of bath tubs and shower room floors; in fact, one of my shower time “rituals” is to put a small towel on the floor and stand on it while I wash (don’t worry, that towel never touches any part of me besides my feet). I rejoiced after reading this article.

Bath time during my childhood was a different story. Back then, bath time was about “popping bubbles and exchanging dimple smiles” in my small kiddie tub. It was about bonding with my sister Hope, who often helped with my hair wash, and getting some “me-time” after hours of having nurses watch over me (although, sometimes, they were the ones who gave me the bath). It was also about testing to see how long my Barbie dolls could last in the water before their hairstyles were ruined. I remember how good it felt to just slouch my back farther and farther down so my entire body practically floated in the water.

My dolls had a hand in making me a storyteller. For years, I engaged in “pretend play” like all small children do and acted out sister fights between Barbie and Kelly, romantic troubles between Kelly and Ken, even crime scenes where Prince Flynn received a fatal wound to the chest. (As you can tell, I had a wild imagination.) I did the same with Josefina and Samantha, my and my sister’s American Girl dolls (and our prized possessions).

Once I got older and learned how to type words on a screen, these scenarios in my head eventually turned into actual stories on my dad’s Windows desktop computer from the ’90s. The longest story I ever wrote as a child was a 60-page unfinished novella about a young girl who rescued and befriended a rogue horse (like you’ve never heard that one before).

But back to the dolls. My favorite Barbie was a fairy princess doll with ravishing blond hair and sapphire blue heels that would make Cinderella jealous. What I loved most about that Barbie, however, was her dress in the same gorgeous shade of blue. The petticoat was made of shimmery mesh material that, when you twirled the doll around, caught the light and showered a rainbow of colors. The dress also had petals for shoulder sleeves and tiny flowers sprinkled all over.

If I ever took the fairy princess doll into the bath tub with me and my other toys, I would take her dress off first and let her borrow another Barbie’s bathing suit instead.

I don’t remember exactly when I started dreading showers. I think it was right after my parents declared I was too big for my kiddie bath tub and threw it away. So ended my playtime – my “me time” with the Barbies, yellow ducks and all of my other toys. My sister stopped washing my hair. I started using a towel to cover the floor of the big bath tub. Maybe it’s silly for me to not like or appreciate showers, an essential part of hygiene. But maybe I feel this way because it’s a daily reminder that I’m not a child anymore.

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What were some of your favorite toys and games from when you were a child? How do you think they helped shape you as a person, if at all?

Photo Credit: RomitaGirl67

9 responses to “April A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015: B is for Barbie”

  1. I was born in 1959… so was Barbie… Fun Post #Blogging from A-Z swinging by to meet and greet. I am 471 and 472 in the long list, with MOVIES & What’s in a NAME Hope you swing by to 4covert2overt and Defining Ways. Hope to meet up everywhere @M_C_V_Egan
    http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/
    http://mariacatalinaegan.com/
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  2. I don’t blame you on the shower thing.
    I like this post, too!

    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]

  3. Carrie-Anne says:

    I was never a big doll person, and always preferred stuffed animals, marbles, and toy cars. I’m told I used to carry my dolls under my arm, like a football. I still have my original set of marbles over 30 years later, in their original vintage tin and drawstring bag. There was a close call a few years ago, when one of my littlest marbles rolled under a locked door, but the teacher or cleaning lady was nice enough to respond to my help note on the door, and the marble was taped to the note in the office the next morning. I still feel sad thinking about how I lost a few of my original marbles down the innards of our car around 1984, and didn’t want to repeat that decades later.

  4. Sara L. says:

    You had an American Girl doll too, Wendy?! :D I had Addy. I loved the books, too. I think I owned the complete collections for Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha, Molly, and Addy at one point. I wouldn’t be surprised if enjoying their books at such a young age influenced me to keep reading after that. And maybe writing, too, since I was already making up my own stories then.

    Your story about bringing Barbies to the shower reminded me of how I played with Barbies at my best friend’s house when we were in elementary school. And my friend was the kind who would write all over her dolls and pull the arms and legs right out of their sockets. O_O

    Oh! You know what I liked when I was 7 or 8 years old? Book-making kits. I think that’s what you could call them…? The “books” already came assembled; they were basically pages where the top half was blank for illustrations, and the bottom half was lined for writing. So then I could write the stories and draw pictures to go with my scenes.

  5. My favorite childhood toys were Barbie, Polly Pockets and beanie babies. I used to dream up all types of stories/scenarios when playing with my beanie babies (and sometimes Barbie, but not as often). I was teased a lot in grade school and I used writing as well as my beanie babies as an outlet and would just create my own world where none of that stuff happened. I am also doing the A-Z Challenge – I am number 520 right now on the list.

  6. Chuck Allen says:

    What a great confession. I loved bath time as a child. I usually had cars, boats, action figures and all sorts of toys in the tub with me. Even today, I prefer a bath or taking a shower.

    You really got me thinking with your comment about your Barbies helping you tell stories. My sister was older than me so if I wanted to play with her, I had to play Barbies. I had a Ken doll and a Charlie’s Angel doll (Sabrina. She was my favorite.) Just maybe that helped me fall in love with story telling as well. :)

  7. I always loved baths, especially bubble baths. But not with my oldest niece who was two years behind me in age. Once in a bubble bath with her, I saw something brown like a tootsie roll floating in the tub under the bubbles. I looked at her, she said “I poo-pood and I hollered “Mama!!!” and jumped out of the tub.

    My family nick name is Barbie. :)

    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp’s Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

  8. Always dolls, but I never had a Barbie.

  9. Aw, I miss playing with my barbies during bath time! Such a childhood memory.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

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