No, I didn’t get a Barbie for Christmas this year. (Or an iPod, for that matter.) In fact, this year I got a dictaphone and insurance on my mother’s policy. But, hearing every second child I asked tell me that Santy brought them a tablet made me miss the days when I had a Barbie waiting for me under the tree. And there were several of those. I present to you: the many Barbies of Aoife (by the time I was nine, and outgrowing Barbie, I had a 36-strong collection.)
1995- Three years old.
When I was three, Santy brought Songbird Barbie. I fell a little bit in love with her blue dress, which turned into the first debs dress for all my other Barbie dolls. I was also highly impressed with the fact that if you pushed up on the bird’s lower beak, it would sing. The voice only lasted about six months because I was so fascinated by it that I just played it at every given opportunity. It annoyed the rest of my family, but I was happy out and that was pretty much all that mattered to a three year old.
1997- Five years old
Not technically from Santy. When I was five years old I stopped being an only child and had to welcome my younger brother with open arms. According to the tradition, when a new baby is born the family get the older children a present. I’m not sure how my then two day old brother knew I liked Barbies, and animals, but the young fella didn’t do too badly. Like the bird from previous years, the dog and cat in this could make noise too The noises were this time provided by the basket that came with them; the bone was for the dog, and the fish for the cat. The little case of doctor’s tools only lasted a couple of days, as I lost each of them in the bottom of the box I kept my Barbies in. Like most pairs of shoes any Barbie came with.
1998- Six years old
When I was six I had my first proper visit to the dentist. It terrified me as much back then as it does now (I’m still terrified of needles, regardless of the piercings I already have and tattoo I plan for my birthday. Sorry Mam.) To make the experience a little less painful (excuse the pun) my aunt bought me Dentist Barbie. She accompanied me to the dentist, and he used the doll’s mirror to examine my teeth (not on its own of course, he used his proper mirror too.) Barbie was pride of place on my lap, and of course her teeth were in perfect condition and didn’t need a filling.
The dental nurse did give me a plaster cast of my thumb too. It’s still at home, and it’s pretty cool. Creepy, cos in the twelve years since it was taken my thumb hasn’t grown much, but still cool.
Remember the days when a tablet meant some Panadol?