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LJ Idol IX - 7. No True Scotsman

Rites of passage are overrated. Or so I keep telling myself about childhood experiences most of my peers had and my brother and I did not, living through something else instead.

  • On the occasion of my birth, I was gifted with a large cuddly toy. It had a white belly, black paws and head and a kind face. This was my toy bear, the only one of my toys whom I gave a proper name, Mikhailo Ivanych. The others were simply the Monkey and the Lion cub, or the doll with blond hair and the one-legged doll with matted black hair.

    It was not until I was 16, when we rescued my cousin's bear, Mikhailo Potapych, from the wreck of our granny Anna's flat after the fire, that I realized from comparison that my own Mikhailo Ivanych was, in fact, a long-eared dog. This did not, however, make him any less of a bear in my eyes and neither did it change his name.

  • My brother and I never attended kindergarten. After our elder brother died in infancy from a disease he had contracted in one of them, mother and father decided that were they to have more children, mother would quit her job as an aviation engineer and stay at home with them instead, which she did. She still worked part-time though, making (quite hideous) hand-knit jumpers for one company and spending what little money they paid her on our dancing and painting classes and any other "extras" my brother and I might have needed.

    So we stayed at home, and spent springs and summers in the nearby Botanic garden or our family friends' summer houses doing I do not really remember what while mother was knitting away, and autumns and winters at home with more "scholarly" activities as well as going skiing on the weekends in the forests near Moscow.

    It was a peaceful and rather uneventful early childhood, and the only thing mother eventually regretted was only teaching me to write in block letters before primary school. It was decided that a professional teacher's influence would be best to help me form a better handwriting, but I struggled learning to do so tremendously in the first grade.

  • I have never owned either Barby or Ken. These American dolls appeared on our market when I was in middle school, and were a rage, yet my parents considered them too adult and life-like looking as well as too wickedly foreign to have at home.

    I did play with both at a friend's house though, and while I remember all the different replaceable clothing and furniture being a lot of fun, I never really craved having the doll the way brother and I craved Monopoly. This was another foreign game, yet we were eventually allowed to buy it with our first "very own" money we earned picking potatoes in the village where we were spending the summers.

Rites of passage are, indeed, overrated. Yet someday, somewhere, I will buy and let escape a helium-filled balloon that can really fly because to this day, I have never yet owned one.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
ConCrit is welcome.

I am concerned about the sequence of tenses, as well as the use of articles in the description of my "bear".
Apr. 30th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC)
Since someone already mentioned the thing about kindergarten, the only other bit I found confusing was:

have never owned either Barby or Ken. These American dolls appeared on our market when I was in middle school, and were a rage

"Barbi" : ). Do you mean "rave"?
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - May. 1st, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - majesticarky - May. 1st, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cheshire23 - May. 2nd, 2014 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - May. 2nd, 2014 11:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 28th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Aw...I would buy you several balloons right now, if you were near by. They are fun :)

I loved playing Monopoly with my brother :)
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:05 pm (UTC)
Aww I would too!
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - Apr. 30th, 2014 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - Apr. 30th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
I thought this was very interesting.

Apr. 30th, 2014 12:17 am (UTC)
Aww. Balloons are fun, but they frequently get stuck in trees, so releasing them can get pretty interesting if you don't have an open space to let them go in.

I had a dog instead of a bear when I was little, too.
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think there is a little "rag" in one of the trees nearby that used to be a balloon. :)
Apr. 30th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
The others were simply the Monkey and the Lion cub, or the doll with blond hair and the one-legged doll with matted black hair

This reminds me of my daughter, who generally names all of her stuffed toys things like White Kitty and Pink Bear. XD Very endearing entry.

As for concrit, I feel like this lacks flow - it's less of a story, and more of a list of facts.
May. 1st, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, transitions are difficult for me. Thank you for pointing this out, I will pay more attention to them. :)
Apr. 30th, 2014 12:20 pm (UTC)
I realized from comparison that my own Mikhailo Ivanych was, in fact, a long-eared dog.

I can't put my finger on exactly why, but this was the single cutest thing I've read all week.
Apr. 30th, 2014 02:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - May. 1st, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eternal_ot - Apr. 30th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - May. 1st, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - Apr. 30th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - May. 1st, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
i enjoyed reading this...and though it was different kind of childhood but I guess it was more Enriching!
Apr. 30th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
The only "off" thing I noticed was that you referred to your infant brother as dying from something he contracted at Kindergarten. Pre-school or daycare, perhaps? Kindergarten is a type of pre-school that happens right before first grade.

Did you and your brother enjoy Monopoly? We loved it as kids, though as an adult, I'm frustrated about the way in which it seems to just go on forever. As in DAYS, to the point where everyone loses interest...
May. 1st, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I did not know there was a difference. At that time (late 1970s), there were two types of organized care for kids with working parents, the one for little kids (ages 1-3 I think) and the one for older ones, (ages 3-6). So if it was the former, I should have called it daycare?

Thank you for pointing this out.

Haha, yes, we did enjoy it very much, even though the game we bought was a variation of Monopoly where everybody eventually won, so it lasted for hours, until the bank ran out :).

We also played true Monopoly with friends, but then also it was just for a day, and then we just sold back everything everybody owned and compared the funds.
May. 1st, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
I could see how the bear / dog thing could happen. I once had a friend whose kid's first word was "Cat!," but she was pointing to a Yorkshire Terrier at the time. In her world, "Dogs" were the size of bears.
May. 1st, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, that could easily happen. My granny used to call our dog "cat" because she said the dog was too small, and not a "real" one.
May. 1st, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this :D
May. 1st, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
May. 2nd, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
My daughter only named one of her stuffed animals the rest she just called mr. or mrs. depending on her mood.
May. 2nd, 2014 11:38 am (UTC)
My father tried to forced me to call one of my dolls by a name he chose, but it never worked :)
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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