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Bamboozled into Barbies

Friday, March 21, 2014

As a child I was never much one for dolls. Animals appealed to me more. Even dinosaurs. I had a farm set, my joy and delight - Mom had spent hours assembling the metal barn, inserting tab A into slot C, and the plastic animals were delightfully realistic, unlike modern Fisher-Price creatures, which, though more brightly colored and jointed, would not have appealed to me over the drab brown accuracy of specific breeds - a shorthorn bull, a Shropshire sheep...Stuffed animals also had more appeal. I still have the cat, Chesterfield, my mother had made for me from a pattern when I was about 10, and a pre-Disney Winnie the Pooh. Once I did ask about and receive a baby doll, but had it been a real child it would have been taken by CPS for my neglect. No...Quadrupeds for ME.

So now I babysit a couple afternoons a week. And my 5-year-old charge has Barbies. The first few times I was with her, she was content to watch PBS when she got home - Wild Kratts appealed even to ME because it deals with wildlife. But as she's grown accustomed to me, and I'm rather easy going, I engaged in her play - firs twith her "Squinky's" (SOMETHING like that) - because they were miniscule animals. She played with a tiny pink armadillo, and I with a blue-gray elephant with a long shock of hair. But yesterday - she brought out Barbies. And for two hours, I played with her. My characters were named Rapunzel and Ken - at first. Then she traded those in for others, and gave me a blonde whose name she told me was indeed Barbie, and I maintained my Ken.
We changed their clothes, we prepared invisible food, we went camping, we went on picnics, and to dances. Rapunzel and Ken danced to my humming of The King and I's "Shall We Dance (1-2-3)" and a hummed Tango, and My Fair Lady's "I Could Have Danced All Night" - while my charge said gravely, "WE dance the REGULAR way."
Of course HER Barbie - although she didn't take that particular name, and she didn't really call her by any particular name - her people were "husband" and "wife" - won the Ballet contest, and the My Little Pony Jumping Contest, and was the best dressed and most-to-be-admired (and envied). I went along, my characters showering her with accolades. I guess because I WAS so agreeable, she enjoyed playing with me.
I think today I'll bring the book from my school's book club, and explain, "I have to read this for work." Maybe I can escape Barbie!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My husband played Army with our son and his green Army men. He told our son, "I'll be the mountain" and he lied on the floor and went to sleep. We still laugh about it. My son said he was disappointed when it happened. LOL!

    1502 days ago
    I remember my best friend playing barbie with my granddaughter, and they were talking about going shopping and stuff, and I jumped in and said, hey , lets go to a hospital and sing to the sick kids and went in that direction. I am not saying she ever wanted to play barbies with me after that! ha!

    1513 days ago
    Glad you both had a great time! Reading books and telling stories are great for children also! Enjoy!
    Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.
    Blessings and hugs,
    1521 days ago

    This one reminds me of a green Barbie . . . Star Trek Barbie, maybe?
    1525 days ago
    MAYBE SHE will enjoy a storybook too.
    1527 days ago
    1527 days ago
    1528 days ago
    We all get to learn new things every day.
    Just when we think we are beyond dolls......
    1528 days ago
    Ha, Ha. I bet you loved every minute you spent with your granddaughter. I have grandsons and they aren't interested in reading so to join them I need to play basketball, do bike tricks or occasionally they do like to hit practice golf balls in the yard with me. In other words, it has to be outside. Love it! emoticon
    1528 days ago
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