My mother, like I am sure many parents from her generation, has a problem with understanding gift giving. She is the type to buy someone ten things that they don’t need, or want, rather than one thing that may cost as much as those ten things. She really is a fan of the quantity over quality rule. Here are a few things that I desired for years, but was instead given things like a radio shaped like a tiny computer, actually one Christmas I believe I was given three tiny radios shaped like things (I also had a boombox already).
1. The Easy Bake Oven- When I was a little girl I wanted an Easy Bake Oven so bad! I always loved helping my dad cook in the kitchen and I wanted to be able to make my own sweet treats for the family. At the age of 7, my mother bought me one, on a random shopping excursion. It was on sale, and my mother just can’t walk away from a deal. I was psyched. But I made the unfortunate mistake of not acting like a typical kid, and simply took my time in playing with it. Sure, I wanted it so bad, but because my mother hadn’t thought to purchase the necessary food items that would allow the baking, I didn’t push for it. I figured she would eventually, and I had delved deep into my Nancy Drew mystery, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time on my seven-year old hands. I mean, I have school, girl scouts, socializing at sleepovers, homework, television shows, my series of books I’m working on. There is only so much time for a seven-year old, who has time to bake? Well, my mother sure showed me. About two weeks after receiving the oven, my mother took it upon herself to give it to a woman she knew, that had a daughter that wanted one soooo bad. Apparently, they were “less fortunate” which was bullshit in my mind because they were the ones getting the oven and I was the one who was getting jack. My mother also assumed that I didn’t want it, and that I was too old for it. I was 7! sure, I had already been baking in an actual oven at this point, but I was still not happy.
After reminding my mother of this story for years following, my mother surprised me with an Easy Bake Oven for my dorm room when I was 21. Which was very sweet, and very much like my mother to buy me something completely illogical. I didn’t really care so much about the toy, as much as I liked to complain about it.
So here’s the thing about Easy Bake Ovens, they suck. It takes forever to get those light bulbs hot, and when you actually do try to make something, it’s never quite cooked. The little packets of food that you are supposed to use are just terrible. I did use it to warm up bagel halves a few times. But, it was basically just wasted space in my already far too cluttered dorm room.
Quantity over quality. My mom has this strange idea that my brother and I want a lot of little crappy toys rather than one big awesome toy. I cannot figure out this mind-set, nor am I guessing I ever will.
2. Doctors set- Doesn’t every child want to be a doctor at one point? At least a veterinarian, especially a veterinarian! Ah, but alas, when you get to college and you attempt to take freshman chemistry, you realize that it actually takes a whole lot of dedication to do such things. But when you’re a kid, there is just the lab coat, stethoscope and your favorite stuffed animal as the patient. Your favorite stuffed animal would never dare sue you in a malpractice suit…maybe Teddy Ruxpin, but he was a jerk.
3. Chemistry set- Who doesn’t love science? and experiments, and making a good clean mess? I loved all of those things, but was harshly denied such luxuries. I did read a lot of Beverly Cleary and Hardy boys books where THEY had chemistry sets, sad state of affairs.
4. Dress-up trunk-Taking you back to about 20 years ago, I remember going into Toys R Us and discovering the amazing, fabulous, magnificent! cardboard trunk that held multiple costumes. There were different trunks for different themes. There was the princess trunk, the career trunk, the playing house trunk, it was pretty much perfection. But my mom always felt that it was far too expensive. To this day, I love Halloween, and I love any excuse to dress up. A few months back, I took my kids to Toys R Us, a place I haven’t been in probably 15 years. It was just as glorious as I remember. When I saw those dress-up trunks at the end of the aisle, everything was in slow motion. But I didn’t buy one, because like my mom used to say, they are really expensive. This was something I had to change in my child raising, so after Halloween this year, I went to Walmart and bought about ten costumes that were 75% off. My kids are both so young now, but in the next year, they will be able to play dress up together. The collection is pretty impressive too, princess, cowboy, iron man, a transformer, football player, just to name a few. So I was able to right an injustice that I felt. Oh, middle class white kids and their problems.
Anyone else feel like they missed out when they were kids? Did you buy something for your kids that you always wanted?