Sunday, March 6, 2011

My little doll

I was never very into dolls. I had a short stint collecting Strawberry Shortcake dolls (which I recently found out my mom saved, and will be passing along to Willow) and my grandma liked to give me Madame Alexander dolls. But the beautiful Madame Alexanders sat in a glass case and were hardly ever touched. I had a single Barbie and a single Ken, neither of which got too much use. The only doll I recall being somewhat enthusiastic about was my Cabbage Patch Kid, perhaps because the birth certificate made it seem more real.

So I didn’t expect to be among those moms who like to dress up their little girls like dolls. I’ve spent almost nothing on clothing. Since she was born, she has worn only zip up or snap up one-piece outfits or sacks. And most of those are blue, green or yellow, passed down from River. I had to get a pink jacket and a pink blanket to put over her in order to not have to constantly explain that she’s not a boy.

But we have inherited some really cute things and one beautiful, brand-new outfit hung on my dresser, waiting for an appropriate day to use it. It’s a spring dress, so the weather wasn’t cooperating. Then I realized she was going to grow out of the newborn size before she ever had a chance to wear it. So I had to put it on her at least once.

For the first time ever, I put bloomers, yes bloomers, on my child. Together with a completely impractical pink dress. But it was so cute, I kept it on her all day, cold toes and all. She is so precious and so beautiful to me that I do enjoy putting her in sweet little ensembles. She is the best doll I’ve ever had.

Yes, as a feminist, I know one shouldn’t categorize little girls as dolls or other objects. And I know there are all kinds of issues with the use of pink and princesses and an emphasis on beauty for females. I’m sensitive to all those things and will make the same effort to expose her to the physical and intellectual experiences that River will have. But I think I can nonetheless consider her beautiful and take pleasure in things that bring that beauty out.

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