Each morning Goose and I go for an hour walk. This past weekend, as we were traveling on one of our usual routes, I heard a few high pitched screams of excitement. No, it wasn't Brock excited that the Oscars were merely a week away. Nor was it his excitement over Justin Bieber's new haircut, although it is quite fetching. As we got closer to the screams, I saw a little boy about 5 years old. It was 7:30am, he appeared to be high on sugar and adrenaline and dressed in his camo pants, he was unsupervised ....a perfect storm. This little go-getter, most likely up since 5am and drinking Red Bulls, had crafted a ramp down the 2 steps outside his front door. He had the front door open and was starting his descent at the back of his house, riding his skate board on his belly and pushing with his hands. As he made the 2 inch drop from his house to the first step he had to pick up his skateboard and put it on the ramp and then he had the .25 second ride of his life...followed up by some fist pumping and several shouts of "Awesome!". I wondered, did he know of all the other toys and games available to him through just a few household items and imagination. Below are some of my favorite childhood games and toys:
Coat Hanger Basketball
This is where you take a wire coat hanger and form it into the shape of a circle/hoop. You then affix this with whatever adhesive you can get your little hands on to some part of your house that will most likely get you in trouble. To date there has been no reports of Coat Hanger Basketball players bypassing college (or elementary school for that matter) and being drafted right into the NBA, but with the technology with coat hangers and the bounce Pergo flooring has (something not available when I was growing up) it is just a matter of time. The biggest adjustment from Coat Hanger Basketball to the NBA still remains 1) the height of the hoop (evidently, the NBA hoop is not eye level when standing flat footed) and 2) the size of the basketball (let's face it, it is hard to get socks rolled into a ball big enough to equal that of an NBA regulation basketball).
I can't tell you how many times in my last job, if I the foresight to see what the day was going to be like, had I prepared myself by draping numerous colorful bed comforters over a table and hid inside and weathered the storm.I would have made the fort impenetrable by securing the exits with clothespins and I would have survived on macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk.
My sister had a fantastic paper doll collection when we were little and we played for hours. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that paper dolls are actually specific figures cut out of paper and are accompanied with different outfits that are attached to the "paper dolls" with little tabs..... as opposed to random pictures in various sizes of TV stars cut out of magazines. Once we got a subscription to TV guide, the collection doubled in size however, it was hard to come up with story lines that included Walter Cronkite, Mork, Quincy and Weezy Jefferson.
TV Show Re-Enactment
When you are not able to watch the vast amounts of TV that your young heart desires this leaves you no choice but to act them out. Lucky for me I had a sister and a cousin and we were all 2 years apart. Therefore, we could be Marsha, Jan and Cindy Brady or we could be Mary, Laura and Carrie Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie), or we could Charlie's Angles. All you need for this game is a sister and a cousin and limited TV privileges.
Of course all this changed once Pong entered the picture.