Favorite Toy

I really really am trying to write more often. I enjoyed my two-week winter break so much that coming back to reality has been hard. Especially when that reality has meant record-breaking cold temperatures (single digits) and an office move (not completed because of the cold and the logistics). At the moment, all of my stuff but the computer and telephone are in the new office. I must be with the computer. So, I’m sitting in an empty office surrounded by enemies (I keep telling Dusty the drama never stops no matter how old you get. Mean teenagers become mean adults.) and trying to be industrious. The new office lost power for a couple hours this morning because of the cold so we’ve all been forced into slackness and I don’t feel so bad about catching up here.

Next question: What was your favorite toy when you were a little girl?

There were a couple, at different ages, but one that stands out is the red metal Tom Thumb cash register I had when I was three, four, five…something like that. My dad was the bedtime parent. My mother did not play with children and wore this fact as a badge of honor. She is a grown up, an adult, and as such does not stoop to childish things. She was an ARTIST who happened to be a mother (because it was what women did) but playing was out of the question. I was left to my own devices before kindergarten and thus did a lot of playing in my room or, later, with neighborhood friends. It won’t surprise you that we got ourselves in quite a bit of trouble. I’m kind of amazed my parents had a second child.

My dad, on the other hand, enjoyed playing and we’d play a game of Grocery Store in the evening, I’d put on pajamas, brush my teeth, and he’d read to me. (My mother also didn’t read to children. As a mother who loves nothing better than reading to my girls, I really still can’t wrap my head around this. But, it is what it is.)

My dad and I would take turns being shopper and cashier and we’d make food with blocks – triangular blocks were cheese, squares were boxes of cereal and the like, cylinders were milk and jars of soup. I swear I had a little cart at one point but I have no way of proving it and the memory is an unreliable thing. I could very well have made a makeshift one out of one of those green square strawberry baskets.

I enjoyed manning the cash register the best: pressing down the number keys and watching the amounts pop up in the window. One key would open the drawer for the money, most of which went missing so I think we may have substituted Monopoly money at one point.

It’s funny that the most long-lasting toy my kids have is a red plastic cash register that operates as a calculator and Dusty often used it when she was learning addition. It’s battered and covered in old torn off stickers but it still works and Red occasionally absconds with it and plays a game of shopping in her room. It’s the one toy I can’t part with when I’m getting rid of “baby” things. So many toys have short life spans but their cash register might outlive us all.

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4 thoughts on “Favorite Toy

  1. Pretty sure I had one like yours. My brother and I would play with it together (we are just 11 months apart), but it’s long gone. I’m not sure it made it to my sisters’ childhoods to be honest.

  2. I had the biggest kitchen/grocery store toy area when my kids were preschoolers. We had a plastic sink/counter thing from a garage sale plus a little shopping basket and cash register. I saved every spice canister, box, and oatmeal bin that came my way and put it there for them to play with when I was trying to make lunch or supper. 20 years later, I finally parted with the shopping basket this fall.

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