Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back in the day terror toys for the chubby girl

If you follow me on Pinterest, then you saw me go batchit crazy pinning crap from my childhood yesterday.  As I looked through boards and blogs, I ran across a couple of items that also reminded me of how life was different for a fat kid.

I wasn't obese as a kid or anything but I was tall and my weight had more area to stretch out over.  I was "solid," as my mom called me on occasion when I'd comment on my size compared to the other skinny shrimps kids at school.  Here are a few of the toys that struck a chord of terror into the hearts of  tall "hearty" little girls like myself.

Play dress up shoes

via
I used to wear those cheapy plastic dress up heels all the time with my wax lipstick from the kids section at Kmart.  I loved to clip clop around in those things.  As a woman with size 11 feet as an adult and a size 9 by 5th grade, you can imagine that my feet grew pretty rapidly as a kid.  My feet were not dainty and when they began to grow, I could feel between that and the extra pounds I was putting on that it was only a matter of time before they collapsed under me and the sharp plastic leftover would cut into my foot.  When I had to give them up, a piece of my childhood died.

Romper Stompers

Cups you walk on with string...you could probably totally DIY them these days.

via
I think I only used these once or twice at the babysitter's house and I had that uneasy feeling that I was too heavy for them and they were going to give.  All I could think of was the embarrassment of telling my mom we now owed the sitter some new Romper Stompers because I crushed them.

Hippity Hop

Words cannot express how much I wanted one of these.

via
I always wanted one but my friend had one and he had a Spiderman one or something like that too.  So when I would come over, he got Spiderman and I got the one above.  I was petrified I was going to bust it by bouncing too hard so I would fake it by bouncing it off the floor but I would maintain a squat position and hover a bit so my full weight was never on it.  I would become a master at this technique as I gained weight over the years and used the hover with sitting on cheap folding chairs.  Terrifying...especially when you're 300, 400 and you just don't go anywhere to put yourself in that situation when you're flirting with 500 lbs.  Basically imagine bouncing around on a stability ball with all of your weight and praying it doesn't bust.  (I've seen plenty of horror stories of that happening!)

Finally we have...

The Teeter Totter

via
The ones at my school were always in rows of like 6 of them and you hauled ass to get out there when the bell rung because they were the first things that kids wanted at recess.  I had long legs so I'd run across the playground and grab a teeter totter until my friend could make her way over.  She and I were somewhat similar in weight but I could fake that too by kind of propelling myself up and she would lean way back to keep me up in the air for a few seconds until I'd slowly sink back down.  But if I went down to the ground I could keep her suspended indefinitely.  Some days if she pissed me off, I'd just keep her up there until she stopped being a dork.  The only advantage to my 10-15 lbs on her.

On the days my friend wasn't at school, I still found myself running out to grab a totter and there were never any shortage of kids willing to play with another kid on them.  But there would inevitably be a skinny girl who would hop on and it was like putting a feather on the end because it wouldn't even move.  I would sit in front of the handles to counter-balance the weight differential.  Sometimes it would work, most times it wouldn't.  Sometimes another person would need to get on and that was mortifying.

Yeah, that's awesome for your self esteem.  Once I really went into my awkward phase at the end of 5th grade and into 6th, that was the end of my teeter totter days unless I wanted to rocket children into the stratosphere.  Or you had the assholes (boys) that would agree to totter with you and they would give you the sense of security and then jump off real fast to send you slamming into the ground.  That happened one time.  The next time it happened, I could sense it and stood up when he jumped and the last guy to do it sang a little higher after he saw I stood up and didn't hit the ground, he went to hop back on and I crotched him.  I might've been 10 but I'll be damned if I was going to continue to be made the fat girl laughing stock of the playground.  Oddly enough...no boys wanted to get on it with me after that.

Were you an overweight kid?  Any toys you couldn't play with due to your weight?  Playground situations?

Tuesday PT
Tennis/spiky ball
Deep tissue massage on calves
Ankle/fascia massage
Balance board/yoga balance poses

====================
Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook )

18 comments:

  1. I forgot about those romper stomper things and yes I definitely was afraid to use them as well. It was among the first signs I had that I was bigger than other kids but the teeter totter was definitely THE first sign of that. I didn't have any friends who were big so I basically couldn't teeter totter with anybody. The only good thing about being that much bigger than everyone else is when kids would play football I was always the first one picked. However if it was for basketball I was the last one picked. The funny thing is that I was actually better at basketball and quickly showed them all that they made a big mistake in picking me last as I plowed through them and made goals like crazy for my team (who also reluctantly picked me). Ahh, the good old days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I forgot about them too and when I saw them I had that fleeting moment of glee in seeing them then the sad remembrance that I couldn't really play on them. Sigh.

      I remember because I was tall, everyone always picked me first for basketball (I can't count how many times people were like "why aren't you on the basketball team?" in my family) then were sadly disappointed when I ran like a slug. I failed gym for quite a few years because of my weight. You say hurdles and I still break out in a cold sweat.

      Delete
  2. I was never scared I was too big for items but, as an uptight child, I was afraid of falling off of things or embarrassing myself on them. I LUSTED for Pogo Ball (the platform you stood on and it had a ball wedged in a hole in the center and you had to balance on it while you bounced) but I *knew* I was not coordinated enough for it, so I dutifully longed for it from a distance. I did try it once (a cousin had one) and was relieved to find out it wasn't as great as I thought it would be (not nearly as bouncy and exciting).

    Those plastic shoes remind me of jelly shoes, which I had and were totally uncomfortable but they were The Best even if you ran the risk of sacrificing your baby toe to them. (mine were clear and glittery and I was lucky enough that I grew out of them before they permanently crippled me).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my cousin had that too and I was too big to try it by that time. I'd love to have an adult version now because it'd be a great balance tool! (Fitness nerd) I had a pogo stick that I desperately wanted to be good at but nay, I sucked.

      Jelly shoes rocked! I loved my pink ones and you're right, the pinky would inevitably work its way out. I distinctly remember wearing them to a Berlin/Thompson Twins concert when I was 11. Thank GOD there are no pics of that ensemble. Only my mom and the Mr know what I wore by description and it's too embarrassing to repeat...even for the 80's. LOL

      Delete
  3. I wasn't overweight as a child, or a teen, or even through college. In fact according the the ever sketchy BMI zones I was 2 pounds from being underweight for my height until I stopped being active and started gaining weight my final year of college. But... I do feel your pain to a certain extent - I was always taller and therefore heavier than my classmates. My feet dragged on the ground under much of the playground equipment by about 4th grade. I could stand flat footed and reach the bars we were supposed to jump for in PE by 5th grade. By the beginning of 7th grade I was 5'9" tall, size 9 foot, and 130 pounds. It wouldn't be until high school that the boys would even start to catch up with me. My best friend in high school was my height and significantly overweight and I know she had a rough go of it, but we didn't talk about it. Time together was spent on fun, and she was never one to share her pain.


    I was never one for heels or jellies (although I did own both) my lust of the 80s was spandex. I sooooo wanted spandex, and my mom refused. I guess I should thank her for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL...yeah monkey bars weren't really that fun for a tall kid. How I wish more overweight kids would find the courage to stand up for themselves. I can count on one hand how many times I was bullied due to my weight but I learned early on that my height scared people so I used it to my advantage. But my friends who were the same size or same weight but different proportions making them look heavier got tortured daily in front of teachers who didn't care enough to tell the people to knock it off.

      Yeah spandex really only belongs on 1986 David Lee Roth. The closest I came were bike shorts. Though I guess most jeans these days have some bit of spandex in them so you might just get by on a technicality! :-)

      Delete
  4. Great post! I didn't start getting heavier than my peers till about age 11, and I remember VIVIDLY dreading "dress up" time or any clothes related things with my friends. Once we all had to make poodle skirts for a play we were doing, and we had to measure each other's waists.... I was mortified that my number was soooo much higher than everyone else's! Ah, childhood traumas - I wish the good things stuck out as much as the bad things for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, I can relate. I don't remember even getting to shop in the 6x-12 kids section. I feel like I went from 6x to size 7/8 juniors overnight. I remembered feeling very grown up because my aunt wore that size but she is also 12 years older than me sooo....

      How I wish I could've traded clothes with my friends and stuff back in the day.

      Delete
  5. I can relate to EVERY single one of these. I remember how much I hated the playground... we had parallel bars, and the tiny little girls would fling them selves on and swing around like Mary Lou Retton... When I tried, I couldn't hoist myself up, so 3 friends thought they were helping by grabbing onto my giant thighs and pushing me up to the bar. The only thing it did was reenforce how much bigger I was. Ahhh, the good old days... horrible...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww! They thought they were helping but yeah, I can imagine how that felt.

      I remember those bars. I wanted to be able to swing around on them like other kids but I just didn't have the upper body strength to counter the extra weight. :-\

      Delete
  6. I wasn't morbidly obese until after I married, but I sure wasn't a skinny minnie like most of my cassmates, so that pretty much ruled out Teeter-tottering. I remember trying to push off hard with my legs so that the other person had a chance to make it to the ground. Most of the other toys you mention were more in my son's era, My oldest son sure loved his Hoppity Hooper. Somehow, the first one was a skinny little kid, while my second son has fought obesity (and lost to it) most of his life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the teeter totter only let you fake it so far. :-\

      Delete
  7. I always wanted a Big Wheel, but i was too big and they'd bottom out and the big wheel would just spin when I sat to peddle:( I'd forgotten about that until I saw your post. My mom would say I was too big, I always thought she meant too tall or mature, thanks for trying mom and for loving me anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got a big wheel for my 3rd birthday and rode it until my arse couldn't squeeze in on the last setting and when my legs finally got too long, I took the back off and drug ass. *shaking head* Trust me, there wasn't much length between the seat and the peddle so your mama could've totally meant too tall.

      Delete
  8. Totally loved the bouncy ball! My babysitter had two of them and I rarely had a chance to get on them, but was jealous of anyone who had one. I never did get to wear those darling plastic shoes but I knew girls who did. I was the same way with my feet being big at a young age. I wear an 11 now and back then I was in between 7 and 8 and used to wear my mom's shoes or my friend's mom's shoes to school. Now I can't find cute shoes with my clod-hopper feet! =o) I wasn't obese, but chubby back then (or so I thought). Looking back it kind of breaks my heart to think that a size 12 was so huge. I was always one of the tallest in my class and I ached to be tiny like the other girls. I hated standing a full head over everybody else. Add in the "sturdy" weight and it was so awkward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rarely know someone who has the same size feet as I do. Did your mother call them "gunboats" as well? I know. I remember being a 14 and thinking I was the biggest cow ever. I'd kill to be that now and in today's vanity sizing, it would totally be a size 10.

      Delete
    2. Ha! My aunt actually used to call them gunboats and sh*t-kickers. And even trying to find size 11 with any consistency is hard, just like clothing. Some 11's fit like a 10.5, and others are like a WWWW width when they shouldn't be. So that's frustrating as well because most of the time I have to buy my shoes online.

      Delete
  9. Ugh, I've definitely had that teeter totter experience...

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate thoughtful readers like you! If your comment doesn't show up right away, check back in a few minutes. I promise it'll get posted. The system can get a little glitchy. (Rude or spammy comments will be deleted. Fair warning.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...