A Full Day (1/3/17): Talky Tina, a Dora Cup and Puppies

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Jim Valvano


Today is January 3, 2017, the third day of the year.


On this day in 1973, George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees from CBS for $12 million. He owned the team until his death in 2010. The team was then worth $1.2 billion.







Watching some of the Twilight Zone episodes, including a favorite, Talky Tina.  In the episode, the doll (Talky Tina) – voiced by June Foray, who also was the voice of Rocky the squirrel – catches the ire of the stepfather Erich Streator, played by Telly Savalas. Streator turns out to be infertile and takes his anger at the situation on Christie, the stepdaughter, as well as the new doll.


Tina is no pushover and in due time, she makes it known that she will have Streator killed and she’ll do it herself. Streator tries to harm the doll – a blow torch, vice grips, a saw – all to no effect. Eventually the doll makes good on the promise, tripping Streator as he walks down the steps.

The narration closes with this: “Of course, we all know dolls can’t really talk, and they certainly can’t commit murder. But to a child caught in the middle of turmoil and conflict, a doll can become many things: friend, defender, guardian. Especially a doll like Talky Tina, who did talk and did commit murder—in the misty region of the Twilight Zone.”

I’ve wondered if the doll’s owner, Christie, had this fantasy of the doll taking out the mean, old stepfather. When the wife, Annabelle, discovers what happened to her husband, Talky Tina, in turn, threatens Annabelle, who had thought her husband was going mad surrounding the doll.

The quote reminds me that often in their own stressful worlds, kids do turn to their toys or pets to bring some normalcy to their lives and provide comfort and to defend them against a world that is hostile. I think Talky Tina would defend Christie with all her inanimate life


It was just a Dora cup I found underneath a laundry table. However, it sent me into tears on the spot. It was Grace’s cup and a sad reminder that she is no longer a little girl.


Grace is my youngest and her growing up (she’s a ninth grader now!) is another reminder that I am growing old. She no longer needs me to fill that purple four-ounce cup and she needs me less and less for a lot of things.

I had those same, mournful moments with my older two kids. With my daughter, Joy, it was the time I disassembled her doll house, as our family prepared to move to Hickory, N.C. from Columbus, GA. She was 12 years old and I knew I would never reassemble the house. She was about to enter seventh grade at the time and she had no interest in child’s toys any longer.

With my son, Andrew, that tearful moment came when I say some pictures of him as a younger kid and I realized I could no longer hear his unchanged voice. That one hurt a lot.

Those who are parents understand that pain more than we want to describe. We come across memories of our kids that we’ll never have again. I know with each of them I wonder – and I still do – did I do enough with them. I look back I have moments of regrets. A time they wanted me to swing them… to play a game… to build a snowman. A moment of their childhood I let slip away that I’ll never have back because I was tired, or sadly, I just didn’t want to at the time. I realize we can’t do it all, but that realization doesn’t east the pain.

I know they’ll need me less and less as they become adults and I can do less and less physically and mentally. And that is, perhaps, how it should be. From the time we first hold them in our arms, we seek to give them the tools to help them grow up and fend for themselves. A bottle, a spoon, a cup, a walker, a book, a crayon, a pencil, a bike, a calculator, a phone, a car, etc, etc,. Each one and more designed to fold them into the world. And then the time comes we encounter an item that takes us back to a simpler time when they were young – and we were young as parents – and we so wish we were there again.

At times, it seems they’ll be two or six or ten forever. Then you turn around, and they’re 14 and 22 and 26. If you are a young parent reading this, cherish the moments with your kids; It really does go fast.



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