Since I've been making and sewing on yarn hair on Raggedy Ann dolls this week, it got me to thinking about their necessity in the lives of children. Every little girl wants a doll for Christmas. Even my aunt Ethel who is now almost 90 tells us that her poor widowed mom tried to get some kind of doll for each of her 3 girls for the holiday. I remember getting dolls and also carriages to wheel them around in when I was just 3 years old (see my photo on left). Then there were the special dolls that would take a bottle of water and wet their diaper-why that was so special, I'll never know after struggling with potty training for my three sons years later. There were also dolls that cried when you turned them over and said MAMA.
Do you suppose the purpose of these dolls was to prepare us for motherhood? I also remember playing house complete with a cupboard and table and chairs to set my dishes and tea set on. I even recall having an ironing board and a play iron plus a high chair for my dolly. In acting out the lives of mothers and wives in our playing we are in a way preparing for future roles we hoped to have. Just like fairy tales and buying into the myth of happily ever after, our play set the stage for our later lives.
Girls of today have Barbie dolls with glamorous clothes and even a boy friend doll named Ken with a convertible. Times have changed. Also Barbie looks nothing like my baby dolls. She has a waist and boobs and is skinnier than humanly possible. What has happened to our society? I never owned a Barbie doll but I do remember one Christmas when I was about 10 getting a new doll for Christmas and my cousin recieved a cute teddy bear. (See us in photo on right.) We decided to have a wedding with our new playthings. Those were the good old days when life was simpler.
We both grew up, got married and lived happily ever after until our divorce about the same time. Then we got to play single parent...