The Random Yak

More Really Cool Stuff I Didn’t Have as a Kid

Filed under: Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:13 am on May 4, 2010

Not that I’m complaining, mind.  I had a pretty good childhood, all things considered, and my parents did let me paint the interior walls of my walk-in closet when I was in junior high school.  (And I mean painted as in scenes of dragons and other mythical beasts, in acrylics, not ‘grab a roller and paint one color on the wall’) Which, I must confess, was both really cool and typical of the way they liked to give me the freedom to express myself in reasonable and creative ways (which probably contributed to an overall increase in the Power of the Snark but also increased control over its outbursts).

That said: this connect-the-dots wallpaper almost makes me wish I had a child young enough to buy it for.


But not quite.

Still, I’d put it in the category of something I’d totally approve-of-and-encourage-friends-to-do.  At least with children old enough to know the difference between “walls I can draw on” and “things that change the color of my bottom.”  (Statistically, 92% of you got that last reference.  The others don’t have kids.)


  1. Connect-the-dots wallpaper? Nuh-uh. I did get to paint my room whenever Mother decided it was time, though (always white). As a kid, the cool stuff I had was almost all in books. Oh, I had some nice cowboy boots when I was five. Had a woodsy back yard for a while. Cool. Had some kites I made. Cooler. Aside from that, who needed “cool stuff”? Pickup games of “500″ in the neighborhood street. Bike rides (until our neighbor decided to swat her kid in the back seat as she was driving down the road… and off the shoulder, through me *heh*). Strap-on skates we could take turns with. (Have a skate key? You’ve missed a treat if not :-)).

    Dad almost never used his tools, so I got to saw and hammer stuff apart/together or take apart dead radios and clocks… and mostly get ‘em back together and working. Neighborhood Xmas trees were a great supply of raw material for building our own “log cabin”. Stuff like that was our “cool stuff”. Sure, injuries were common (well, at least in my case :-)), but that was just the price of making our own “stuff”.

    Oh, yeh, we did have a set of “Childcraft” books that were, among other things, kind of a kids’ “Popular Mechanics” project books. That was definitely cool. (Gathering pop bottles around the neighborhood to return for refunds was a way to finance childhood project materials that couldn’t be scrounged. A second hand lil (mostly rust) red wagon sufficed as a bottle transport.)

    Ah, those were the days!

    Comment by David — May 4, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  2. As far as I’m concerned, “cool stuff” encompasses a lot more than toys, too. Got my first tool kit the Christmas I turned five. A real one, not one of those kids’ things – The Random Father went out and found one with relatively small handles but real pieces. He was a lawyer by profession and a woodworker/furniture maker by avocation (IMO, he should have ditched the law and worked with his hands, he’d have been happier and probably just as successful, but that’s nothing but a lesson to me now) and he had tons of “scrap” pieces that I used to make into all kinds of interesting things. (Most of which didn’t look much like what I called them, but The Random Parents were imaginative enough to smile, nod and encourage instead of laughing – at least when I could see them.)

    Comment by Random Yak — May 5, 2010 @ 10:14 am

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