Mia: Shaken Not Stirred


The true life stories of a NYC female.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The National Toy Hall of Fame...


Did you know there was such a thing as The National Toy Hall of Fame? I didn't,but what the heck, toys bring so much joy into our lives they deserve some recognition. I remember a particular favorite of mine being a piano made of wood.I would drag the piano out into the living room every night and play for my parents and their friends. My mom would set a wine glass on the piano and my dad and his friends would drop money into it. Hey somebody had to earn candy money!

On Friday the cardboard box was inducted into the hall of fame taking its place along Mr. Potato Head, Lincoln Logs, Play-Doh and the Slinky. As a kid I had a room full of toys but my favorite stuff to play with were cardboard boxes. To a child a cardboard box is the most versatile toy one can own and if it’s a huge box the kind you can fit into, jackpot! It’s like hitting the lottery for a kid. It could be a club house or a rocket ship one minute and a race car the next. I’d pretend to be a pirate sailing the seas with my favorite dolls as my crew. Many a time Rainbow Brite was made to walk the plank and Jem to swab the deck.

Heaven for me was when my grandpa would bring me a couple of refrigerator or washing machine boxes from his job. He’d tape them up and build a castle for me cutting out windows and doors. I’d take out my crayola’s and markers and decorate my castle. It was the only time I could draw on a toy without recrimination.

My cousin Jessica would always lock me in the tower with my pink elephant Miss Cuddly for company while she went off to hunt dragons. Specifically my giant stuffed dragon "Puff". She’d also capture unicorns and tie them to my Get Along Gang tricycle behind the castle. I’d pretend that my fairy godmother, who looked a lot like Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz, would come and release me and Miss Cuddly from the tower. Then we’d sneak down and release the unicorns. I never let Jessie slay Puff because he was a gentle dragon and prone to crying when he was scared. I’d always raid the medicine chest for Band-Aids (the “ouchless” kind) and patch up the boo- boos Jessie’s sword inflicted on him. After Jessica would go home, Puff, Miss Cuddly, and I would have some yogurt and watch the Muppet babies on TV from our castle until we’d get drowsy and start to suck our thumbs. Yeah I was a thumb sucker. It was always at this point that i'd be awakened by a friendly giant who looked just like my dad carrying us to our bed. Puff, Miss Cuddly and I would drift back into sleep looking for the fairies with the glittery wings living in the fairy kingdom mural my mom painted on the ceiling.

When we’d awake the next morning our castle would be gone. Overnight it had been transformed into a space ship and was scheduled for lift off after I had my breakfast. I’d play with the boxes until they basically fell apart and duct tape couldn’t help them anymore. It was only when my mom threw them out that I would go back to playing with store bought toys. Thinking about it yeah I guess something that lends itself to a child’s imagination the way cardboard boxes do deserves to be in the toy hall of fame even if technically it’s not really a toy. By the way, Puff flew away to his kingdom when we moved to our new place in Manhattan. Mom said the city was no place for a dragon and that Puff had been losing his stuffing and needed to retire but Miss Cuddly made the trip with us and still sleeps at the foot of my bed to this day.

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