Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Wrong-Right Doll

Sister wanted a baby doll.

Trust me.

We all know she wanted a baby doll.

If you were a fly on the wall, you knew she wanted a baby doll.

Just a tad shocking.

Shocking?

Ya. Shocking.

Sister is a girl who started out all girlie loving pink, having her hair done, loved bows in her hair and on her dresses, pretty shoes and all things princess.

Then, one day, without much warning, she became a Tomboy.

No more pink.

No more bows.

No more princesses.

No more long hair and braids with bows.

I missed her little girlie self, but we learned to embrace her more tomboy-like joys.

So we have spent the last 7 years getting her Legos, Marvel Comic Characters, Power Rangers, swords, guns and even a punching bag.

All that background should help you understand why a few months ago when she began to obsess about a black baby boy doll, you can bet I was all over that. She began to check on Walmart.com and just HAD to have this certain doll. I tried to find another doll that might compare or come close because I really wanted to avoid paying $45 for a doll that I wasn't even sure she would play with very long. So, at first she was satisfied with playing with my old baby dolls, but then she really wanted her own. So we went to the local thrift store and she picked one out with blue eyes that she new had to be a boy.



The baby dolls from my childhood weren't cutting it anymore...

But, she kept wanting her black baby boy doll from Africa. She loves China and usually has to make sure everything she has is from China, but this doll, she knew would be from Africa. In a panic after a severe and overwhelming break-down I tried to band-aid the situation by buying the only black baby doll I could find at Target that was under $15, and it was a girl, but they didn't have boy dolls.

She seemed to be happy with her new doll that she named, Lucy.  I was relieved that this doll might suffice until Christmas.

Even though she loved Lucy, she just had to have her black boy baby doll that she had seen on Walmart.com.

She was melting down everyday, several times a day.

She was obsessed. Even with me trying to get her a supply of baby clothes from the thrift store and even when a dear friend donated some of her own baby's clothes... she would be excited for a time and then quickly go back to melting about not have the doll she wanted so bad.

I don't want to spoil our kids. I mean, they are spoiled enough with grandma's gifts and my occasional "Oh it's less than $5" give-in. I was trying to teach her that something that big needed to wait until Christmas, or at the very least, her birthday.

Then I saw the baby sitting kit sitting in the corner of her room that she had put together during Activity Days a year ago with her peers. All it was doing was gathering dust, but it sparked an idea.

I talked to Sister and explained to her that she could by the doll if she earned the money for it.

To my surprise, she got very excited!

Now there was an end in sight for her and she would know that she was working towards a goal. It was perfect. Something for her to learn and a way for her to understand the concept of waiting.

Win-win.

So I pleaded with my neighborhood on our Facebook page (the smudges are Sister's name):

Immediately I got responses from friends who wanted to help Sister earn her money for the doll.

The first babysitting job she was so excited she could hardly contain herself. Marc and I couldn't stop grinning as we watched her gather her kit together and then waited by the stairs for the time to leave.



The whole way to the house she was nervously and uncontrollably giggling.

She's never babysat before.

This was the big moment.

We walked in and she was a little timid at first, but soon warmed up and was in heaven playing with the kids. We even got out the flannel board and we told some stories. She decided that I was the one to be in charge of the baby so I held the baby while she played with the two siblings.



I have to admit that I nearly cried several times as I watched my daughter having a typical youth experience of babysitting. My heart kept as I listened to her playing games with the kids and asking them questions. For moments at a time I felt like I was the mom of a typical tween girl. It was so weird to feel like I was in that position for a moment.

Sister was also given an opportunity to dog watch for our friends so she could earn some more money for her doll.

I was so proud of her for wanting to be responsible for Rosie the dog. She would tell me that I had to walk ahead and not to get in her way.



She even went over to play with Rosie so she wouldn't feel lonely while her family was on vacation.
Baby wanted to help too.

Within 3 weeks, between her birthday and Christmas money she had been saving up and her hard work, she had enough to pay for her doll.

She was so excited that we had to order her doll even before she went to school.

I was so relieved to finally have it all going the way she had hoped.

Then when she got home from school she had informed me that I had ordered the wrong doll! And she wasn't exactly kind about the information either... long story short, I cancelled the first order and promptly searched for the doll she really wanted and had meant to tell me she wanted.

I won't go into all the messy details, but I will say it wasn't pretty, but we did get the right doll ordered. She counted down the 5-7 days that it would be delivered. Luckily for all of us it came on a Wednesday (5 days after the order)

I don't think she could have been any happier. She has loved him ever since. I love the names she comes up with.

His name is Jedediah
 But as in any event in Our Life, no experience can go without some kind of hiccup...

Three days after Jedediah arrived the "wrong" doll came. Some other packages had come at the same time so in order to make sure that it was the doll that I needed to send back I opened it.

Sister was there.

I didn't think much of it because she had thrown such an angry fit when I wrongly ordered it, that I just figured she'd be glad to see it go.

I was wrong.

Oh so very wrong.

As soon as I opened it Sister began to squeal with excitement...

???

Oh mommy, I love him!

"Uh, sweetie, this is the doll you DIDN'T want... remember... you were hitting me because you didn't want it? I have to send it back."

She melted and raged all in one motion.

I was in trouble.

Somehow I was able to talk her through it and explain that this doll was the one she didn't want and we needed to send it back to get our money back.

She began to sob with Jedediah in her arms and she blubbered, "I'm going to miss you... we're going to miss you," then she turned to Jedediah and explained, "it's OK, you will see your brother again. Mean mommy is making him go back, but it is OK, Santa will bring him back."

I didn't react and just let her have her moment of tears over the unopened baby doll box containing the "wrong-right" doll.

I taped the outer delivery box closed all while talking calming words to her and saying that maybe she could get one like it for her birthday or Christmas, but, again, this was not something she got to have just because. It was a special occasion doll, or she had to earn more money to buy it.

Sister had fervently insisted that Santa bring her the same exact doll and not one that just "looked" like him. That request was made all while she was tearfully promising both baby dolls that he would come back. That Santa would take care of him and that he would play with him so he wouldn't get lonely. She also informed Jedediah that Santa would know when to feed and change the baby while in his care.

Hearing all of this, how could I possibly send it back? This was a teaching moment. What should I do?

...

After she weepingly went to bed I gathered the courage to pick up the box and deliver it to Santa's "workshop" for future delivery at Christmas.

I might not last until Christmas while she begs and pleads everyday for Jedediah's brother to come back. I might have to ask Santa to deliver the special baby to the Birthday Fairy for expedited delivery...

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