Find us on Google+

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The white plastic horse


The pretty little horse was white plastic and it was mine. Except that in reality it wasn't. It belonged to the nursery school and I'd played with it that day. But to a three year old toddler that mere fact means nothing. I was playing with it, I liked it and it was coming home with me so that I could play with it some more. I don't remember actually taking it, or walking home with it in the sticky hand that wasn't clutching my Mother's oh-so-tightly, or even playing with it in our 1970s front room. I took it back the next day apparently and apologised to the teacher, but I don't remember that either. What I remember is my Mother's voice when she realised that I'd taken it. Stolen it. Her disapproving and disappointed tone crumpled my soft smile as I dissolved into tears, distraught that I'd done wrong, that I'd let her down. I would hear that tone occasionally during the childhood years that followed but that first time, that very first time, shouts out to me from the past as my earliest memory.

This week's RemembeRED prompt over at The Red Dress Club is a memory of kindergarten or it's British equivalent; nursery school.


Photo credit: The Toy Collector

19 comments:

  1. It's a wonder that more things don't get taken home. :)
    I love the simple honesty of this line, "I liked it and it was coming home with me so that I could play with it some more."
    It makes perfect sense to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know! DD has often walked towards the door with her favourite toy from a playdate. Thanks for your kind words too :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Nichole. The general reasoning with toddlers is if they see it, it's theirs. But your mum was steering you away from a life of crime, so let's not blame her.

    Thanks for stopping by my space today and for jumping into the comment pool!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the very kind compliment and welcome to Bod for tea *waves*. I haven't seen that face on DD yet but I know I will one day, it's inevitable!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! That is quite a memory. I loved this sentence: " Her disapproving and disappointed tone crumpled my soft smile as I dissolved into tears, distraught that I'd done wrong, that I'd let her down." I've seen that face on my son, and it breaks my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Erica, you're right of course, and I never stole again to my knowledge, but I think it made me a bit too conventional too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. so funny, i went to a friend's house to play, and she had sooo many more barbie clothes than me, i stuffed loads in my pocket, and my mum found them later on that evening, and quizzed me, i had to tell the truth, and i was distraught that i had 'stolen' something! although the next day i gave them her back with an apology note to her mum!!

    one of my strongest childhood memories..!!!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ha ha! Clearly stealing is a rite of passage. Glad I wasn't the only one! Thanks for popping over to comment :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ok, this post has put me at ease. I thought I had a clepto on my hands as D1 has often come home with toys in her pocket. :-P

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rest easy my dear, I've been reliably informed it's a childhood rite of passage. Not sure where the passage leads to mind, but that's another story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was such a strong memory!

    I adored the way you described the "toddler law" of ownership. That's just so exactly the way it is!

    This line: "Her disapproving and disappointed tone crumpled my soft smile as I dissolved into tears, distraught that I'd done wrong, that I'd let her down." was pure poetry. Heart breaking, but poetry nonetheless!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Toddler law: what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine too!

    I don't think I've ever had my writing described as 'pure poetry'; I'm blushing! Thank you :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. Aspiringmama1 March 2012 06:44

    Makes sense to me! I see it, i want it, it's mine. Bingo!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I did this with a book from kindergarten when I was four years old. I still have it. I hid it under my bed for nine months until I started school so I wouldn't have to give it back. xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know right? It's how I still feel sometimes when I see a new Mulberry bag... good job my Mother stopped me when she did!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! Secret book stashes from 4 years old! Impressive... :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh the rites of passage we go through as children. I guess it does prepare us, somewhat, for adulthood.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was thinking about this today Mari and wondering if it prepares us or conditions us.... either way I'm not in jail for shoplifting or worse so it has to be a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hiya! I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up for the nice info you have got right here on this post.

    I can be coming again to your blog for extra soon.


    Also visit my blog - semantics definition syntax

    ReplyDelete