In last week’s #MyFirst blogging challenge set by Kerri Sackville, we were given the topic ‘My First Bestie’. I wrote about my neighbour and childhood best friend (Miss M); and I’m sure she’ll be stoked to know she features in this week’s challenge as well – because Kerri has set us the topic of ‘ My first wish fulfilled’.
Like most besties Miss M and I shared many a rite-of-passage. I still recall learning about ‘how babies were made’ and receiving a very graphic book (aimed at children… see pics below!) from my mother which naturally had to be shared with Miss M after I’d finished with it. (I’m pretty sure our mothers had discussed the subject first and decided the time was right.)
Similarly one day in late primary school Miss M told me she’d heard girls talking about ‘periods’ and didn’t think they meant school periods. Did I know anything, she asked. Of course I didn’t but after consulting with my mother we were simultaneously brought up to speed. (I’m pretty sure there was a book involved there as well – but it was nowhere near as memorable!).
And… to this day I still remember receiving confirmation that Santa Claus (along with his counterparts: the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy!) was not real. (Oops sorry, forgot to add #SPOILERALERT!)
Miss M discovered her mother’s hiding spot for presents at quite a young age, so in late 1974 (I think*) at age 7, her exploration uncovered a much-desired ‘Velvet’ doll on the top of the cupboard. Not long later ‘Santa’ brought her one for Christmas and – just like that – his cover was blown.
I was devastated. Not just because it proved our suspicions that there was no Santa (which meant our parents no longer needed to humour us with lots of fun stuff at Christmas) but… I WANTED a Velvet doll. She should have been mine. My reasoning was simple: I was the blonde one, not Miss M. She should have been mine!
My pouting continued over the Christmas period and I still remember my disappointment days later on my birthday when there was no Velvet doll lurking beneath the bright birthday paper. Indeed, I think I was such an ungrateful little wench that I sulked that the ‘Kodak’ labelled gift was a little transistor radio not even a camera as I’d first thought!
I should note here, my family was ‘comfortable’ but not well off; but I guess I didn’t understand that as a kid. I like to think (now) that I was vaguely appreciative of whatever I received, but sadly suspect I wasn’t.
We were holidaying at an aunt’s in Brisbane at the time and what I do remember is that… in the post-Christmas sales we went shopping and… I FINALLY got my hair-growing doll: an auburn-haired Crissy! I’m fairly sure I would have preferred Velvet – a blonde like myself – but hope I was so excited at my parents’ generosity that I accepted Miss Crissy with open arms.
I should mention I actually wasn’t much of a ‘doll’ person. Indeed I had few ‘dolls’. I was more of a ‘Barbie doll’ girl. I LOVED my Barbies and they occupied my time, rather than their larger counterparts. I think my niece was a bit the same, so perhaps it’s not uncommon. Of course it meant that my Crissy doll survived my childhood and now lives in a suitcase in my mother’s closet… not too worse for wear.
Were you an ungrateful child like moi?
Did you yearn for presents you didn’t receive?
* After some ‘research’ I discovered that Crissy dolls were actually released in the late 1960s. My incarnation (as well as the extendable hair, she spoke – sharing exciting phrases about her love to dress-up) was created in 1974 and sold through to 1975. Her ‘cousin’ Velvet ‘arrived’ in the early 70s and was made until 1974.
PS. Was gonna add a graphic pic warning re the How a Baby is Made book, but figured if it’s meant for children anyone who comes across it should be old enough to deal with the oh-so-attractive image that is still in my head nearly 40yrs later!