Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tender Years: Birthday Tinker Toy Fiasco






 "A grownup is a child with layers on."
 - Woody Harrelson
.
Peeling back the layers.




We were living in Carthage, and it was my birthday.  The family must of all driven up for it.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  I had seen the decorations and presents put in place. One present was VERY intriguing as it was cylindrical in shape and about a foot tall.  

Opening the Tinker Toys
My oldest niece and I were out in the garage together, before the party officially started.  I was talking about the presents I had seen.  Kelly told me that funny shaped one was from them....and then she said "I know what it is."  Oh, my!  I asked her what it was.  I don't believe I expected her to tell me.  Yet, Kelly firmly stated it was Tinker Toys.  

I was overwhelmingly thrilled and crestfallen at the same time!  On the one hand, Tinker Toys sounded like something I really wanted, but on the other I realized the biggest surprise of the day was over....ruined.  

Daddy delivers the birthday spanking.
Traditional birthday spanking from Daddy.  Never hurt, except for the one to grow on.  He'd be really loud and dramatic to make a big show of it. I'd half laugh and half cry.  (Notice the 1950's Fridgidaire stove with the cafe doors in the shot.)

Did your own nosy nature ever ruin a surprise for you?  Did you ever play with Tinker Toys? Did you receive the traditional birthday spankings?  What memories did this post bring to mind?

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara 

60 comments:

  1. We did get the birthday spankings :) I think my mom stopped them when we were getting into our early teens :)

    I had ruined Christmas surprises. One year saw the closet where my mom had hid the presents and then of course I peeked. It was a hard Christmas because you had to pretend not to know your gifts.

    betty

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    1. I think the spankings stopped around 10-12 for me, too. I stumbled upon a present or two myself over the years. Very hard to react with the same surprise and joy!

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  2. I had my tenth birthday, and my only ever birthday party, in 1959. I don't remember much about it, except that we had recently become the first in my circle of friends to acquire a television set (a massive box with a nine-inch black and white screen in the middle of it). Whatever had been planned went byu the board, as the boys who came to my party; probably only four or five; wanted only to watch the children's TV programme.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com

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    1. My husband says they didn't really have birthday parties either. What a shame the TV stole your thunder on your day! At least you had your friends with you.

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  3. I still attempt to get spankings... well that is another story. Don't really remember tinker toys, I was more the action figure kind of guy.

    Welcome in the letter "B"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. Okay, Jeremy, you Nut! We know you aren't as twisted as you pretend to be.

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  4. I had forgotten about the birthday spankings (and one to grow on). We didn't have many toys, mostly a stick for a horse and a finger for a gun etc.

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    1. Seems to me, as each generation has more and more toys, that children still enjoy most to take something simple and use their imaginations.

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  5. Neat that you have these photos to share along with the stories of your Tender Years. 'And one to grow on'...yep, had a few of those. January birthday parties often were ruined by Texas Mother Natures sandstorms, snowstorms, torrential down pour. No, I never peaked, shook or steamed open presents hidden in the closet, under the beds, or in the trunk of the car. LOL!!!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. So many of mine were made smaller by the nearness of the Labor Day holiday to my birthday. Why do I doubt your sincerity Sue? I mean it is strange that you never, yet you listed every way to open them and every place to find them?!

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  6. I never had Tinker Toys but I did find birthday and Christmas presents unwrapped in the closet a couple times.

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    1. Um-hum, how'd that make you feel? Excited, let down?

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  7. I've never heard of birthday spankings before. No Tinker Toys either. My grandparents used to wish us Happy Birthday by singing to us over the phone xx Rowena
    PS with your love of childhood, you would enjoy my AA Milne post https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/letters-to-dead-poets-aa-milne-atozchallenge/

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    1. How sweet! I've had a few of those phone serenades before, too.

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  8. Oh boy, so I remember the birthday spankings. I was so glad when I finally became too old for them. I agree , it's very cool you have pictures of your parties. I have very few. I only peeked once in the closet when I found a birthday present. I felt so guilty , I never did it again.

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    1. I am fortunate to have the pictures that I do. I can see you scolding yourself enough that you never peeked again!

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  9. No one ever ruined a surprise for me that I recall. But I did search for presents. No birthday spankings, either.

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    1. Ah, ha! So you'd of been glad if someone told you what your were getting?!

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  10. No birthday spankings - and at least twice, I have been told a birthday present, only to completely forget what it was before opening it. So, surprises saved by my poor memory!

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    1. Surely they must of told you more than just an hour before!

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  11. I don't know that I ever had Tinker Toys, but I loved, loved, loved Lincoln Logs. I think they are why I wanted so much to be an architect. In the end, the fear of higher math won and I laid the dream of architecture to rest.

    We had birthday spankings, too. On my 18th birthday, however, the spanking was a real one. I don't remember at this point what got Mama so mad at me, but old as I was, she spanked me.

    I searched for presents, especially around Christmas. I think that was probably prompted by being told early on about the real deal with Santa Claus. I remember quite clearly climbing the shelves in the only closet that house had and finding a pile of presents. I didn't know what each present was and I was too young to think about opening and then re-wrapping them. But, I knew *where* they were.

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks for commenting on my blog. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading your comment. Sorry to hear math scared you off of your dream.

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    2. Thanks, Barbara. It's okay. The dream of being a wife and mama came true and it was on the top of the list. :)

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  12. I remember tinker toys and we always got the traditional birthday spankings including the one to grow on, but they never really hurt. The only spankings we got that hurt were the ones with the "switch" and man did those hurt. We even had to pick our own switch of the branch. Carthage isn't too far from Shreveport.

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    1. Yeah, and the more I think about it, this may have been right after we came back to Silsbee. As I see Alice Puntes sitting there in curlers and she certainly wouldn't have come all the way to Carthage. Must of got muddled in my mind over the years. Peach tree limbs were a staple of mothers the world over...well in the South anyway!

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  13. Such sweet memories! I noted the stove right off:-) The only time I ever peeked was the last time because I felt so bad about it;-) Mi vida once dared me to guess what he'd bought me for Christmas and I made the wildest guess I could think of. Turned out I was right and he never believed I hadn't peeked!

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    1. You made me laugh! Great on the stove. It was a real beauty! The only stove Mama had all of my life. I cooked on it myself up until about 1998.

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  14. My brothers got Tinker Toys. I got dolls. But, they did let me play with theirs once in a while. Nice photos and story.

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    1. I never could build anything all that wonderful with them. But I sure tried. Thanks MZ!

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  15. I loved your story!
    Yes, I have a similar tale. One Christmas, when I was 9 or 10, Mom wrapped a package in white tissue paper. Living just this side of broke, I'm sure she didn't use many pieces of tissue paper. So I could press the paper to the box and saw that it was a Mary Poppins board game. I had to act surprised Christmas morning. As much as I loved that game and played it for many years, I remember the disappointment with knowing what it was and have never peeked at a gift again.

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    1. Ah, Trisha. God bless you. I can feel the curiosity that drove you to peek and the regret as I know how lean years go, that may have been your best, biggest or only present! At least you truly enjoyed it!

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  16. Super thanks for visiting me at Abbie's Adventure Diaries.
    Wow, you're writing about childhood --- such a neat theme! I have never ruined a surprise for myself and I have never been good at guessing them either. We didn't get spankings on our birthdays --- but it looks like fun!
    I've bookmarked you! Shall keep visiting!
    Abbie's Adventure Diaries [http://abbiesadventurediaries.blogspot.com]
    Fellow April A to Z Challenge 2016 Participant

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    1. Well, I'm glad you like the theme! The spankings were definitely a mixture. I half cried just because it always broke my heart to be spanked by Daddy. I half laughed because it didn't really hurt and he was clowning around. We carried on the tradition with our kids when they were little. Why I don't know. I don't think I would now.

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  17. I remember playing with tinker toys as a kid. I wasn't very creative then. I think the most imaginative thing I built at the time was the windmill illustrated in a set of prints provided.

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    1. Well, Jeffrey, you still did better than me! LOL Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. I mean, I could she tell you just like that?

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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    1. Yes, exactly! That's exactly how I felt. LOL Never mind she was only 3 or 4 and felt terribly important knowing what my present was.

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  19. Never got the traditional birthday spankings, which is fine by me!

    Once I was in a closet I shouldn't have been, rooting around. To get to the top shelf, I stood on something hard, and after I was done, got curious about what I had been standing on.

    I pulled off the sheet that was covering it and discovered a lamp my mom had been painting for me for weeks. Yikes!

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    1. I don't blame you about the spankings, that's one tradition I won't object to it's dying away.

      I hope your climbing didn't harm the lamp any! What a sweet and special gift your mom was working on.

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  20. We always peeked at Christmas, and if we weren't satisfied, we'd switch the tag to someone else.

    Mary
    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Oh my gosh! Mary, no! You were a stinker!

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  21. I have never heard of a birthday spanking in my life!

    Anna
    ATSP @ Deeply Shallow
    @natzers

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    1. Yes, Anna, it is a longstanding tradition with many. One swat for each year of life and then one more to grow on.

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  22. No..never heard of birthday spanking!
    But I love your theme. Such fun!

    You can read Army Wife Tales at
    Tale Of Two Tomatoes

    Also, visit to take a look at 26 lip-smacking Chicken Recipes at Something's Cooking

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    1. Thank you Shalini! I am also really enjoying your theme!

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  23. Never spoiled a surprise that I can remember and, thankfully, no spankings either!

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  24. I remember tinker toys, but not birthday spankings although I may have blocked that from my mind. We did get spankings with a switch and we had to pick it off the tree too. I guess that's what happens when you grow up in the south.

    That stove looks kind of familiar, ha! ha!

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    1. I don't think there is a Southerner older than 35 who doesn't remember having to pick their own switch!

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    2. Having to be the one to go pick the switch, I think, was worse than the switching. The walk to the "hickory" bush had to be the 2nd longest walk in the world, almost as long as the walk back into the house with it. My legs sting just thinking about it!

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  25. No birthday spankings. Ruining gifts was strictly forbidden in our house. (Mom told of the one year she opened all her gifts before Christmas and then rewrapped them. She never forgot that lesson, or let us forget it.)

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    1. LOL Sounds like Mom's word was law in your house.

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  26. Yep I remember birthday spankings. I still give them to my teen grandchildren. And as for ruining surprises, I found my 40th birthday present from my husband and then tried to act surprised when I opened it. But he saw through me!

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    1. You made me smile. I can see your trying not to ruin it for him and him knowing you all too well.

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  27. Yep I remember birthday spankings. I still give them to my teen grandchildren. And as for ruining surprises, I found my 40th birthday present from my husband and then tried to act surprised when I opened it. But he saw through me!

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    1. You made me smile! I can see you trying not to ruin it for him and him knowing you all too well.

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  28. I remember birthday spankings and one to grow on. Pretty sure they don;t do that these days. It's a totally different world we live on now.

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    1. How far South of the Mason Dixon line do you live? Spankings are still alive and well in the South.

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  29. I loved my tinker toys as a child. I used to build all kinds of things. Great for the imagination.
    www.lorihenriksen.com

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    1. You must of been more mechanically inclined than I. I enjoyed playing with them, but never seemed to accomplish building very many different things with them.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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