Lynn's Comments: I confess. My kids had far too many toys. I wouldn't have called them spoiled, although I know they were...it's just that I love toys so much myself! The year that Rod and I were married, he moved into my house in Dundas. The garage was small and in order to make more room, we had to get rid of a few things - one of which was an original dime-operated Coke machine; a thing of beauty that my first husband had fought for, won and abandoned. Reluctant to let it go, we decided it would not be sold at a bargain price. Whoever wanted our Coke machine would have to make it worth our while. In those days nobody had much money, so when word of mouth brought us our only candidate, he was unable to give us more than 50 bucks. He was, however, an employee of Mattel - the big toy manufacturer and he threw into the pot an invitation to the annual Mattel staff Christmas sale! SOLD! The day we went to the big Mattel warehouse will forever live in memory. It was enormous. Barbie was still a big item as were all her pals. There were stuffed toys and baby toys and toys you could ride on, slide on and build. There were dolls and doll houses and tea sets and miniature kitchens and musical toys and child-sized furniture and you could have any of them in bulk and at prices we couldn't resist. Rod and I went crazy. We bought so many toys we could hardly stuff them into our small yellow Datsun. As we drove home, we regained our composure. The toy-fiend gratification gradually wore off and we wondered what we had done. We had one small boy to provide for, so what were we going to do with Barbie stuff? What were we going to do with everything we bought? We'd spent far more than the 50 bucks we got for the Coke machine! Without letting Aaron know that his parents had gone berserk, we hid our load in the attic. We gave away Mattel gifts at every opportunity. Everyone we knew who had a child received something from our stash. We were still giving stuff away as we moved to Lynn Lake and Katie received Barbies as soon as she knew the word "doll". I'm still a toy enthusiast. I love toy stores and an invitation once to the big toy fair in New York was toy heaven! I try not to buy anything. I don't need anything and in my house, I don't have space. Someday, however, should I ever become a "granny" I'll be shopping again for toys...but I won't be buying them for my grandchildren...I'll be buying them for ME!
Lynn's Comments: My parents had much less control over my brother and me than I had over my children. Mom and Dad both worked in our shop on Upper Lonsdale - a good half hour walk from home. Al and I were on our own a lot. We could do just about anything as long as dinner was ready by 6:00 and nothing in the house was busted or burning. I became the cook at about age 10 and Al just had to keep out of my way. Life was complicated. I knew what it was like to be "grown up" in my head and a kid in stature!