#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.”
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.
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