Tuesday, November 12, 2013
A Sampling from the Toy Shelf
When my brothers and I visited our grandparents, there were no toy shelves set aside for our amusement and perusal. This is not to say that there wasn't anything to play with at their houses; there just were no toys. At one of the grandparents' houses we very much enjoyed playing with the automatic card shuffler. That same house also had an astonishing collection of National Geographic magazines, and no one ever paid attention to the fact that we went straight to the naked people issues every week and studied them with amazement. Our grandfather kept us supplied with yellow number 2 pencils and Dun & Bradstreet letterhead, and our grandmother allowed me to play unattended in her Avon closet. She was an Avon lady and had a walk-in closet filled with Avon, including wee sample lipsticks that she gave to me while making me promise to not tell my mother.
At our house we have several toy shelves full of modest toys that have served well for the past 14 years with very little replenishment. On this page at the top is the frog beanbag, not really a suitable toy for an infant (something dangerous about the tiny beans inside it and its non-washable skin), but nevertheless very much enjoyed by the youngest babies. Below the frog on the left is one of several plastic snakes. These snakes have served as princesses, sea monsters, spaghetti, and many other characters in games through the years. On the right is what's left of the Matrushka doll that P. and I bought in Prague long before there were babies on the scene again. As soon as Jacob could sit up he appropriated it, and it has always been a favorite.
On this page are one of the rubbery dinosaurs that have been made to do battle with each other, march in parades, spend the night with the other friendly dinosaurs, and wear doll clothes on occasion. It is peeking into the Vermints tin of tiny treasures. All of the kids have loved digging through tins of buttons, beads, sea shells, broken jewelry. One year we sent Luca a dozen tins filled with tiny things, so great was his love of treasure tins.