The Seven Things That Haunt Me From My Childhood

When I go shopping with my daughter, she will invariably find something that she MUST have. When I tell her no, she usually asks that I buy it for her birthday. I can only hope that she forgets about it before then. Lately, when she asks, it reminds me of all the things I asked my mother for and was never given.

Not that I’m bitter. And it’s not like I have a list of those items right at my command. Oh. Wait. Yes I do.

Teddy is the cutest!

Teddy is the cutest!

1. Teddy Ruxpin. For those of you who don’t know, Teddy was a toy that when you put a cassette tape in his back, he would read you the story. The eyes and mouth moved, and he interacted with you. It was a miracle moment that made artificial intelligence seem real. Okay, let’s be honest, I really wanted to put my Bangles tape in and have Teddy sing along.

Alf? Garfield? Awesome!

Alf? Garfield? Awesome!

2. Shrinky Dinks. You color them, put them in the oven, and THEY SHRINK! Even better, you could watch them shrivel up right there in the oven, and turn into tiny, little raisins. Did it ever happen in my oven? No. There were no raisins for me. Only a heart shriveled by sadness.

3. Baton/pogo stick. These outdoor toys were hours of fun at my friend’s house. She and I would take turns twirling and trying to stay upright on the pogo stick. We usually ended up hitting ourselves in the head or skinning a knee or other appendage. I knew deep in my soul that if I had one, or both, I would be able to perfect my technique and go on to fame and fortune. Wouldn’t you pay to see a girl on a pogo stick, twirling a baton?

You can see the conversation flowing through the phone!

You can see the conversation flowing through the phone!

4. Clear telephone. How cool was this? You could see the inside of the phone! Again, technology was totally rad during the 80s, and being able to see how things worked, was the raddest! And then there were the phones that also had neon lights in them. Clear and neon? Gossip would be so much juicier! “Like, oh my God! So, Bobby talked to Amy, who talked to Candace, and she says he thinks you’re cute! Squee!” See? Better!

Pucker up, Buttercup!

Pucker up, Buttercup!

5. Kissing Potion. My friends had it, and I wanted it to wear all the delicious flavors too! Then I could make out with all of the boys I talked to on my clear telephone. Between this and Lip Smackers, there was no end to the cherry-flavored love I could share.

6. Strawberry Shortcake doll. Okay, I did have one. But that was because I stole it. Yes. It’s true. I am a thief. I loved Strawberry Shortcake. I wanted a cat like Custard, and friends like Orange Blossom. And, Strawberry smelled so good. So, one time when my cousin was over, she brought a Strawberry Shortcake doll with her. I played with her the whole time, and when it came time for my cousin to go home, I hid Strawberry. My mom eventually found her and returned her to my cousin. And I never forgave her for parting me from my sweet-smelling Strawberry Shortcake.

The only way to look totally rad!

The only way to look totally rad!

7. T-shirt clip. All of my friends wore long t-shirts and leggings. But there was one friend who wore it with more panache than all of us; Jennifer. She was all of three apples high, had a perfect side ponytail and awesome leather LA Gear shoes. We all wanted to look like her. I tried, so hard, but my hair was too short, I was gangly and I had absolutely no way to tie my shirt off to the side. My mom would not buy me a t-shirt clip, so I had to settle for a scrunchie to tie my shirt. Or even worse, I had to tie my shirt in a knot. A knot! It was such a great indignity. It’s a miracle I ever recovered.

Many, many years later, I know why my mom refused to get me all of those things. I would have played with Teddy a few months and thrown out the Shrinky Dinks after they shrunk. And, seriously, should I be kissing any boys? No! It’s a good thing I never had any Kissing Potion. My knotted t-shirts and I were better off without all of it. I only hope that my daughter realizes that when I say no, it’s said with love. That and I don’t want her kissing anyone. At least not until she’s married.

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13 Comments

Filed under Partying with the Ponies

13 responses to “The Seven Things That Haunt Me From My Childhood

  1. I cant think of so many things that my mom simply refused to buy for me. The one that broke my heart was a bmx bike. Even Santa failed me on this one. Thinking about it now, I was better off without my own bike considering I crashed and fell off a ditch when I borrowed our neighbor’s bike. If I had my own, I would have been dead by now, i think!

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  2. Oh my God. I used to steal shit from my friends too. I tried to steal a bunch of my best friend’s LEGOs by sticking them down my socks. Except her mom caught me and it was a whole drama. Sigh.

    What about Cabbage Patch Kids? Those things were bomb. Especially the Preemies.

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    • Loved them! I was a bit spoiled with the Cabbage Patch Kids. I had two girls and a boy. I even made my own clothes for them out of my old jeans. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

      And didn’t the legos hurt? Those things are awful when I step on them; I can just imagine what it’s like when they are rubbing on your ankles.

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  3. Oh, I wanted Teddy Ruxpin, too! Come to think of it, I don’t think I had any friends who had him either!

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  4. I had Shrinky Dinks (except my mom wouldn’t let me trace and color the picture of the frog holding the can that said, “American Needs Gas–Eat Beans” because she said it was vulgar). Let me tell you that while kids don’t bother doing squat with the shrunk things (oh, they might put something on a necklace), the coloring cutting and shrinking will amuse them for HOURS. They still sell them too, and you can buy just the sheets of plastic. Or you can buy a kit that makes a Christmas tree and you make and hang all the decorations, among other things.

    I also had Kissing Potion (and Bonne Bell Lips Smackers), but all I ever did was put Kissing Potion on and lick it right off. I’m not sure anyone would really want to kiss you with that stuff on. It make your lips look like they were covered in shellac, and I think it was kind of oily.

    I had the clear phone, but if I recall correctly, I bought it with my babysitting money (I will say right now that phone was totally worth the shit I put up with from Tyler Bernard to earn the money to get it). My huge telephone disappointment was that I never got the one that was Kermit the Frog sitting in a director’s chair holding the receiver. The AT&T telephone store sold it, but my mom never would buy it for me.

    I also stole a thing or two from a friend–there was some Barbie thing, and I recall drama, but not what the thing was that I stole. She got it back, whatever it was. And in spite of having done that, I did not turn to a life of crime and graduate to ripping off liquor stores, which is what I’m sure my mother feared.

    (I wrote a post about the toys I never got a couple of weeks ago–http://orangeandsilverblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/toy-story.html)

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    • I never thought about using plastic for some diy shrinky dinks. I’ll have to try that with the kids. It may come out as a pinterest fail, but it could be fun!

      And I’ll have to check out your blog post – apparently we’re on the same wavelength 🙂

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      • You can actually buy “refills” that are nothing more than sheets of the plastic. I think Michael’s has them. I have one that makes earrings out of it–draws a design, colors it, then punches a hole and shrinks them, and uses some earring wires we have to make them into earrings. I confess that I kind of like doing Shrinky Dinks even as an adult!

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  5. Liz

    Totally forgot about Teddy Ruxpin. A friend did have a pogo stick and I have this memory of jumping on it till it got dark outside. What I wanted and never got was both Barbie’s Dream House and the Millennium Falcon, best of both worlds to me at the time.

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    • ooh! The dream house! That would have been spectacular! And the Millenium Falcon is probably a lot more fun than a Barbie Convertible.I’d take Han Solo over Ken any day.

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  6. I don’t remember any of these…but I relate…massively

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