Sunday, February 16, 2014

Little tin house

For hours I sat in front, er, behind the tin house. It wasn't my dollhouse. It belonged to my sister. When you are in a line of kids, you get the hand-me-downs and the toy always belongs to the first kid. Even when your parents tell you it is your toy, it never is. That's a lie they tell us. Older siblings never forget. Mom later gave the dollhouse to her granddaughter. However, I don't think that any of them enjoyed it as much as did I.

The two-story house had little plastic windows that could be opened. A deck was on the upper side off the bedroom. Every woman's dream. Shrubs and louvers were painted onto the sides. And a red roof could be removed. My favorite room was the nursery. Circus scenes played along the walls while a sweet lamb and jolly elephant danced across the blue floor. The house had a bathroom. We didn't, but my dollhouse did. It was the nearest thing I knew of indoor plumbing. The bedroom had yellow walls that would keep even the deepest of sleepers awake, while the living room boasted wall-to-wall green carpet. An Indian rug was painted across the dining room floor. Oh, yes, I loved this little tin house.

The furniture didn't fair too well when handed down. The dark greenish sofa was missing a leg.  The dining room table and chairs were long gone. The nursery had a playpen and a high chair. I remember a coffee table and a high back chair that was pink. There was a baby buggy and a kitchen sink, a bed and a bed stand. Not much furniture but for a kid with an imagination it didn't matter.

The family was certainly one to give any child a distorted idea of the human anatomy. People with stiff arms that were hinged at the shoulders and elbows. Knees and hips also hinged to move. The baby was a little rubber tyke that didn't do much except reach for mama.

If I haven't lost you already, perhaps you remember having one of these in your house. While the boys had erector sets and Lincoln Logs, we girls had dolls and dollhouses. I don't mind. Mine didn't give me the 'little woman's place in the home' ideas. It gave me imagination. Soon I was having super heroes jump off the top of the house onto the side porch saving the young sister from a life of toil in the kitchen. The baby was often kidnapped and rescued by the same superhero who looked a lot like Peter Pan. (I had a Disney set, too.) I learned to find other types of creative furniture from my other toys and became quite the decorator.

The twins and I play with the little castle I have at my house. Most of the time, we are sending people to the dungeon, because it is fun. When at their house, we play with cars and push stuffed animals around in little grocery carts or the small doll stroller. We all play with the Lego blocks. They like tearing down everything I build up. No one in my family played with my toys and me. I never knew what it was like so never knew the difference. I had my imagination to be my friend. Now with my imagination, I play with my grandchildren.

It was a little tin house that lived in the big white house back the lane on Neff Road that comes to mind now and then.

No comments: