Eventually, my mother tried, vainly, to guide me toward cooking, courtesy of the Easy Bake Oven, a sixties and earlier phenomenon that allowed little kids the joys of baking their own cookies. After mine blew up and left our small kitchen in complete disarray, she moved on to dolls and Barbie accoutrements many of which would fetch a pretty penny from collectors today, if only someone had kept them intact. These I found quite boring, although I understood that girls were supposed to enjoy playing with dolls and Barbie.
I graduated to a small guppy-laden aquarium filled with a noisy aeration pump, green spindly plastic bushes, blue and orange gravel and a fish food dispenser that rarely worked properly. This held my attention into adolescence, when my tastes turned largely to books, writing and music.
I also recall a collection of dolls and figures representing places near and far geographically, and while I never played with these, I did enjoy rearranging and displaying them. Painted wooden shoes from Holland, a child doll from Columbia, a man and woman in traditional pollera and montuno from Panama, a llama from Peru and several traditional kimono-clad dolls from an uncle stationed in Japan, a hand blown glass pitcher from colonial Williamsburg and an indigenous doll dressed in her hand-sewn mola blouse, stand out in my memory. Sadly, most were sold by my mother when she moved house. She assumed no further interest on my part without inquiring.
For images of the traditional dances and costumes of Panama, check out the website http://www.panamaliving.com/mi_panama.html. I do not know the owner of this site, but the enlargeable photos are worth viewing.
Until Next Time...