Monday, 3 November 2014

Dolls = A whole can of worms

I stumbled on The Paris Review having a doll post day, then looked at some linked posts within the blog. What a big topic.

I had a stringless male puppet who I made to fall repeatedly and without any point at all down the front of my bookcase, what on earth does that imply? I'd save him, only for him to repeat the process. I think he had been Pinnochio once. I never played this game with my brother or any other girl... What on earth was I processing? And why not the stairs or plants on the patio, or up in the attic? He had a very limited life with me. He must have been moved on/binned by my mother, as I don't remember him going away.

Once I had my 2 children, sons, I saw some girls in a playground with their precious dolls, now dirty, clothes-less and with mangled hair. They were gaily sending them down a slide, all higgledy-piggledy, to land in a heap at the bottom. The girls were perfectly happy and were not doing anything bad to anyone else's dolls. They each sent their own one down the slippery slope again and again, then forgot them to laugh and lark about. The dolls were just abandoned until I suppose the girls picked them up again by an ankle or by the hair.

As a trainee breastfeeding counsellor I needed dolls for the new parents to practice various things with. I felt extremely odd buying one and choosing nice clean clothes for it. It was even worse walking along the street in Didcot holding it without a daughter next to me. There are very strict social rules around dolls. It was a relief when I moved on from all that and I forgot this precious clean doll somewhere, the one with the mobile head.

I had a collection of more second-hand looking dolls with biro on their faces, given to me by friends with daughters. They didn't cause me the angst the perfect new doll did. They just went in a big plastic bag, but the special one couldn't even be placed face down unless it seemed as if I wanted to kill her.... We never discussed all this in the tutorials, which is probably why it didn't work out for me. Not enough talking it all through.

Wow, I hadn't thought I'd get there with this post.

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