SANDRYLYN SITES is based on the prevalant ideas for raising little girls in the late 1940's and early 1950's in French Canadian Southern New England, which included northern Rhode Island: Woonsocket and Cumberland and Much of Southeastern Massachusetts, including the Attleboro's and Fall River and whereever the textile mills of the 1800's were. I am from the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border area. In it's heyday, Fall River rivalled Manchester, England as a great textile city.

From clothes to Fairyland, SANDRALYN presents you with the experience of being a little girl in French-Canadian Southeren New England. You will play with dolls, color pictures, learn ettiquette and baby care and be chastized in the same way as Little Michelle.

No doubt, many of you think you know the way of life of a 7 year old girl in 1951 and you may know a good deal, I am sure you know about the dolls, the dresses and how you loved to look pretty, and think you know some things that were just not true. For instance; for little girls, spanking was considered too uncouth and unladylike. There was no Barbie, Chatty Cathy or Suzy Smart. the only speaking doll was the "mam" doll. There was no "day care". this was done by ladies who either came to your house or to whose house you went. If there were several children, as was common, the oldest girl, usually about 10 or 11 would run things, which the boys hated because they had to "listne to [obey]" her, and could be trusted to care fot the others and the house for a couple of days and it was not uncommon for an 8 year old to be left home alone for the night and I relished my first opportunity; it let me show how "grown-up" I was: Having gotten my hand caught in the wringer when I was 4, I was not inclined to fool with things that I did not know much about. Neighborhoods were closer knit and there was the saying to a neighbbor meaning anyone who lived nearby, since all lived by pretty much the same ideals and things, "treat her like your own". and "If you lay a hand on my kid..." was unthinkable. families who did that quickly found themselve ostracized for thinking they were better than everyone else. Little girls would spend much time at each others' houses. Little boys tended to roam.

Diapers were also very much more significant in the life of a little girl. the belief was that girls could not "hold it" as well as boys and girls were kept longer in diapers and I knew a few 5-1/2 year old girls in diapers during the day and if a girl was going on a long ride she was more likely to be diapered than a boy of the same age. Also when a group of little girls were spending the aftenoon at someone's house, the ones under 7-1/2 years of age were diapered. It was thought better to diaper and rubber panty them and let them wet than have them run in and out of the bathroom frequently and "wasting water". this was less than a dozen years after the Depression; folks were tight with money and 15 years before Pampers. Also there were few pre-fold dipers, mostly 21 x 40's and homemades, and diaper folding was an art in itself and the diapers also did other duties like serving as cleaning cloths, protective cloths and other things and had to be as versatile as possible.

More common were "rubber Pnaties". "rubber" referred to both plastic and rubber in 1950 and they are still callled "rubber pants' or "rubber panties" Now. They were the only waterproof diaper covering at the time. They were more common because, not only were they put over baby diapers. but other things too. When I was in "nursery school. at age 4-1/2 some of my classmates wore "rubber pants" over, under or without regular underwear: This was at a time before they started putting cloth linings in them or fabric or fancy ruffles and trim over them so they were just rubber ("rubber" also meant plastic) and until about '53, it was invariably the smooth thick material since the cheaper, 'embossed" or grainy material had not come out yet. Thses were more duarable than what is out now; the ones that were put on me in '48 were the same ones that were put on my two-year-younger sister in '50 and given to an aunt later and I last saw on my cousin's doll in 1954: Try that today. They were also called "baby pants", "baby panties" or "baby bloomers". Nine of ten girls had several pair, usually for a large doll and I knew several dolls that had them on with nothing under them and my cousin Michelle, in 1962, when she was about 8 had a doll with one pair over and one pair UNDER her diaper. So if you were a girl, rubber panties were a part of your life.

One of the more important things in the life of a child was chastizement and punishment. In the case of little girls, the ideal was a non-spanking form of corporeal punishment and discipline was the ideal and the remnant of French culture dictated that anything that touched on her "chastity area" would be good as long as it felt unpleasant and not to mention that that part of the body was involved in wetting and potty training. So it was natural to use that area. Rubber and plastic were newly in large scale circulation as materials and involved in wetting and being a baby; especiall a baby girl and even a 6 year old boy feared being put in "...a diaper, a pink dress and pink rubber panties" with emphasis on the rubber panties since these were more likely to be seen as they were put over the diaper, but still "girl's undies" enough to be humilating. So massaging the chastity area with rubber until it gave feelings was a nautural way to punish or chastize a little girl: It did not involve hitting her, it would touch on her feelings about being a little girl and wetting, It would also help her keep her legs closed as it gave strong feelings which, to a 4 or 7 year old were very unpleasant, and havinmg this done forcibly was humiliating and demeaning and the social workers were neither concerend about this nor the overpaid busybodies that they have become today and people in general recognized the supremacy of the family unit. So rubber chastizement was ideal and considered proper and good. In fact, when I was almost 6, my aunt threatened that she would put a "rubber diaper" on me and a couple of years later, the mother of two of my girl friends used it on her second youngest, daughter and me for lying to her about a broken object (the second youngest girl said that it was the youngest sister's fault and I backed her up since I had kind of a crush on her but the story fell through). That was not my first experience with it, either. That came when I had to go to the bathroom but wanted to prove that I could "hold it" and the three girls said that they could make me "go" and I said they could not and... Priorr to that time, I often saw a misbehaved little girl dragged into her room kicking and screaming by her mother, then a minute or so latter I could hear the sounds of something rubbing on what I took to be rubber but was not sure and the little one would sound like she was being murdered. I had no idea. Sometimes just the rubber panties were used and sometimes the "rubber diaper" if the girl was prone to wetting and Mommy wanted to put a diaper over it to catch any wet the little girl did to avoid making the bed wet. It was used as I present here. The "rubber diaper" was a liner put under a regular diaper to chastize and encourage over-age wetters to learn to be dry while allowing wet to get into the diaper. There was something more humiliating about having a rubber diaper under a "baby diaper" and being teased about being "still a baby". For this, and other reasons, and since the mothers of the girls worked in local dressmaking factories and since rubber and good quality plastic (called "rubber" as well) material were readily available many little girls had several items of clothing made of this and drapes and bedspreads of this material were sold in stores. Thus metallic colors were available without having to pay for relatively high-priced satin, brocade or taffeta.

The dolls you already know about, right? Wrong: There was no Barbie, Chatty Cathy or whatever her modern decendents are. There were rag dolls, which were not that desireable as full-featured dolls were now becoming common. The most popular doll with little girls' was the "Mama" doll which when its position was changed would emit a sound that was bassically a "ma-ma". "sleepy-eyes" dolls were new, with opeining and closing eyes. "Drink-and-wet" dolls were popular. the most sought-after was the bride doll and the bigger the better.This was before the large 36" doll became common and the 25" "walker" was just starting. The doll was by far the most emblematic item in the world of the little girl but there were other toys and games, Tea sets were big and girls played school and "Clue" more than boys did. However playing "dollies" was the most common and, with the general practice of diapering little girls staing for the afternoon at someone's house if they were under 8, when I learned to change a diaper, I was wearing one. Also before I was 8 I knew by habit how to hold and carry an infant and did supervised baby care when I was almost 10. Oh yes, I know how to rubber-chastize by then and had been called upon to do so with my almost 8 year old cousin Anne-Marie. Since she was not much smaller than I, to subdue her, I tickled her until she stopped moving around. When Aunt Juliette asked where I got the idea, I explained that this had been done to me a couple of years earlier to tease me and it seemed the only way to be sure that I would get Anne-Marie down without a fight that I might lose.

Hair accessories were another staple of being a little girl with a plethora of bows, barettes and alice bands. One of the most cherised items was a tiara if you could inherit a hand-me-down one from a cousin or sister. These and clothes, mostly dresses, were far more important than they were for boys. Most of the time girls were in dresses, even at home or for play. Grownups played a larger part in the lives of little girls and were not seen as impositions and if a group of girls were at someone's house, they interacted with the lady quite readily, learing to cook, sew and other "feminine arts. It was gereanlly the rule for children visiting or staying at a friend's home, and made quite explicit to "treat her/him like your own" and the child was told, if she protested, "It's their house". There was very little difference from home to home anyway so the rules were pretty much the same all over. Day care was non-existent. If your mother worked then either a lady came to your house or you would be shipped to hers. For girls, if there were no other children there, this was not as bad as it was for boys, There were "girls' homes" for orphaned or boarding girls that also did babysitting chores during the day, RUFFLES & RIBBONS GIRLS' HOME is made in that image. However, they were rare and used mostly for "problem" girls, Boys had boarding schools too, but the girls' homes were more like homes than schools, which they included or were part of.

Fairies were big with little girls, The idea of them had changed from the eariler idea of tiny winged females to full-sized persons but still feminine. The revrsion to the tiny creatures and the addition of boy fairies was re-introduced with the other primitivisms of the late 1960's and the 1970's. Most of the picutures I saw as a child were fulll-sized, often very tall ladies with more little girl facial and body features. This distinguished them from "sprites" and "pixies" which were the tiny winged creatures. A Fairy could be either a very benevolent or very malevolent person. But they were an emblem of power in a uniquely feminine way. Even the "magic" was not supernatural or psychic but a normal-world process of an advanced people.

Taken all together, this was the life of the little girl in French Canadian Southern New England from 1948 to 1954 that I knew and this is the life of RUFFLES & RIBBONS GIRLS' HOME and this is what SANDRALYN SITES presents. Now, just as you will, in the future, be able to get a D'ARIELLE LADIES' SOCIETY Charter, if you run a girls' home, you can also get a SANDRALYN SIGHTS CREATION. Logo identifying you as a SANDRALYN SITE. You may run a store that deals in thangs that are part of the SandraLyn world. The attributes of a Full sandraLyn place are