No house seems to lose its furniture quicker than a doll house.
I am a tin house. Two rooms on the bottom floor, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the top floor. My front the part that would have faced the street if I had been a real house had a painted on front door. It didn’t open or close.
The back side or the play side of me was open.
Remember I was a tin doll house and made for playing and pretending.
I wasn’t made to scale with artistically done furniture that ends up costing dearly and gets me set off in a room where no one is allowed to touch.
I was a tin house and imagine I brought some lead with me.
But no one ever complained.
My original furniture was cold hard molded plastic of one color.
For fun the kids would put the stove in the living room.
The stove was already painted on the wall of the kitchen as though to guide the little kids to furnish me right. There was no imagination when you got right down to my rigid tin form. The rugs were painted to my floors.
Now, since I am in a museum, locked behind Plexiglas, I have been able to sort of ask around. It seems all of us tin doll houses lost our furniture rather quickly.
I’ve had Barbies, stuffed animals, once I had a hamster set loose inside of me. It didn’t stay captive long because I am not the sort of doll house that can be folded shut.
My neighborhood side was enclosed by a fake door, painted on siding and plants with cut out window areas, the hamster ignored these in favor of a simple leap back into the real house. The children would scramble after the poor ball of fur and chunk him back inside and he’d run again, tiny claws scratching at my lead painted floors.
Someone in here at the museum said there was a science fiction program that used a doll house as a creepy setting for a weekday horror.
Someone else a few more doll houses away says there was a movie called The Doll House.
I didn’t watch movies. The girl who played with me didn’t have a tv.
Televisions were pretty much grown up things kept in the public areas of the house.
One time one of the kids got the measles and the mom put all of them, four little kids, all in the same room for what felt like forever.
The windows were darkened.
I have no idea why the room that contained the sick or sickening kids was kept so dark. What I do remember is that some of the kids, one of the kids came through unmeasled but had a bad case of mumps.
It was during the measles outbreak that one of the boys got hold of some pink fingernail polish.
He painted daubs of splotches on my outsides facing the street part of me.
Then he went around the bedroom and gave all of the baby dolls a really bad outbreak. One of the girls cried inconsolably and the boy got a sound spanking.
I became a collectable and someone carefully used a solvent to get the spots off of my outsides without harming the paint under it.
There is a printed card that tells my history, who owned me, who donated me, my date of manufacture.
The furniture, plastic molded stuff of one color is replacement furniture from a pain staking furniture hunt by the hobbyist who restored me.
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Don’t touch anything sharp.