Then & Now, and Toys

'Personally, I think a child needs two dolls - so that they can go on adventures together - a pencil, and a notepad. That's it. Everything else is decadent Western corruption. When I was a child, we made our own amusements: drinking vinegar pretending it was whisky, flooding the garden with a hose, spitting contests. Punching each other really quite hard. Permanently mentally disturbing each other with constant, low-level psychological warfare. We didn't have Hannah Montana wigs, or Pixel Chix, or, or ... Puppies In Our Pockets. We made bows and arrows out of Rosebay Willowherb (that were rubbish), glue out of flour and water (that was wholly ineffective) and papier mache objects that, for some reason, never really dried out, and rotted on the windowsill, emitting horrible, oddly turnip-y odours.

That's why I want to - throw all the kids toys away! Genuinely. Well, everything except the Polly Pockets and Barbies, which they play with very nicely, and the dollshouse, which Dora has recently re-wallpapered very nicely. Everything else - off to the charity shop. There's so much that the kids don't have a clue what they've got, and it's always all over the floor. If they only had three things each, they could just neatly place them on an otherwise empty shelf at the end of the day- like Laura Ingalls Wilder used to, with her paper dollies - and the house would, finally, be tidy.'

- Caitlin Moran, 'These kids have TOO MANY SODDING TOYS'.


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