Friday, October 25, 2013

White Baby, Black Doll

I remember when Punkgirl was little, and she loved baby dolls more than any other toy in the store.  She had about 100 baby dolls over the years, each with their own name and story.  Some of them were hideous...I remember one that used to shake like a crack addict and fall down.  I'm pretty sure we even called it "crack baby" (not in front of her, of course.). She loved every single one, but there was a very special set of twin baby dolls that she got on her first Christmas that have brought both her and her sister immense joy, despite the controversy they caused with strangers and even a couple of family members.

Punkgirl fell in love with a set of black baby doll twins when she was about 9 months old.  By in love I mean that she squealed and bounced up and down from the first moment she saw them, reaching out her hands for them immediately.  They have had many names over the years; once they were "the babies"...when she was learning colors they were her "beautiful brown babies"...when she was older they had "twin" names, like Emma and Ava or things like that.

From the moment she started carrying them around, she has had commentary. "Why do you have black babies?  You're white," was the least offensive. Neither Punkgirl nor her parents care if the babies are black, white, brown, or even purple; they are simply cute babies.  But for some reason, some people have a hard time understanding why I would buy my child a brown baby doll.  I had forgotten those conversations over the years, as Punkgirl stopped carrying dolls around (she's is 12, after all) and kept them neatly on her bed instead.  Now that 10 month old Rose has fallen in love with one of the twins (though interestingly not both) I find myself anticipating the same questions.  So I am preparing my answers ahead of time.  They're not complicated, but here they are, the top ten answers to the question "why does your white baby have a brown baby doll?"

1.  This is a cute baby.  Why would I want an ugly baby?

2.  She likes that baby.  They have the same lack of hair.

3.  I don't want her to judge anyone by skin color, so why start with a baby doll?

4.  Why the hell not?

5.  Why are you hating on a baby doll?

6.  It makes her happy.  SEE REASON #2

7.  Why do you only have a white baby doll.  Are you (gasp, look around, whisper) a racist?

8.  I believe in loving ALL baby dolls, regardless of color, religion, or sexual orientation.  In fact, this one just came out of the closet a few weeks ago. (Literally, my daughter has a box of dolls.)

9.  Are you still hating on a baby doll?  

10.  It's none of your damn business what I buy my baby, but in this case, it's been her sister's doll for twelve years, so she's part of the family.  That makes you a (second cousin, great-uncle, etc),  FYI.

So...what kinds of baby dolls does your child have?

Previously posted on BlogHer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Punkgirl's Last Halloween?

Punkgirl decided last week that she was no longer interested in trick-or-treating, after her pet rat (who she had planned to take along on her shoulder) passed away unexpectedly.  I had forgotten her plan to take him along, and her announcement that she was not celebrating Halloween not only took me by surprise but saddened me greatly.

Halloween is my favorite time of year, slightly eeking out Christmas (and only because Christmas candy is generally a bunch of stuff I can't eat.)  I love having the chance to dress up, to be someone else, and to watch my family enjoy the same.  Punkgirl is 12, and pretty soon she'll hit that age where she won't want to dress up, just because--so not wanting to go this year because of the rat is bringing that home a little too early for me.

At 41, I'm realizing that my pre-teen is heading towards "teen" faster than I can say "tween."  I'm left feeling like she will no longer have time for costumes and nerdiness, which is why I've tried to cram them all in this year, with Comic Con and King Richard's Faire.  I'm working on fitting in a SuperMegaFest too, just to give her one more silly activity before her 13th birthday.  She already knows about Santa, and the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, so the days of forcing Coffeeguy to dress up so I can "catch" Santa leaving the presents won't come around again until Rose turns 3 or so.

That was why I was so thrilled on Saturday, when she came home after dance class to tell me that all dancers could wear costumes to class next week (which was reserved for the kinder-combo kids in previous years.) She pulled out an old black jazz costume, a plain black Lycra jumpsuit, and a new mask she had bought for her wall.  She couldn't decide what she would be...Goddess of Death? She added a pair of rainbow wings.  Goddess of Rainbows? I suggested covering the wings with black fabric and getting some black feathers and a tutu--a stylized Black Swan kind of costume.  She hasn't decided yet, but I'm so glad she's trying to figure out what to make.  My baby will have at least one last year of childhood before she's "too old" for trick-or-treating and Halloween.

These are the pieces we have so far:  

Any suggestions from other suck-at-home moms out there? (Or if you're not sucky at home, even better...give a girl a creative tip!) I don't have a lot of disposable cash...but I want this to be a great costume, since it might be the last!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Good Men Project

If you haven't discovered the Good Men Project yet, you should go now.  Read the well-written stories about the men in our lives--as told by men, women, anyone with a great perspective and a talented writing voice.  Here are some of my favorites over at

Go.  Check 'em out!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Take that, Kryptonite.

      I hate change.  I know, I know, who doesn't hate change?  But I really really really hate change.  I have some control issues, so change is like my Kryptonite.  When too many things change, I feel like my entire world spirals out of control.  
     This month I have started a new part time job; my mother has begun watching Rose two days per week; and I have begun weaning Rose.  My head feels like it will explode!  I keep reaching out to grasp something to hold steady, but the bubble I have been living in tilts and I can't grab on.  The kids have taken it much better than I have.  
     That said...I will get my first paycheck in two years on Friday, and that's pretty ok.  Rose is beginning to warm up to my mother, and that's wonderful.  And I have had the occasion to wear something other than a tank top and ripped jeans, which is kind of liberating!
     I don't know how long I'll last in this job, but that's ok.  I don't know how long my Mom can handle my little flower child; and I just don't know if it is a good time to wean her.  But by making all these changes anyway, I feel like I'm de-sensitizing myself to them.  Take that, Kryptonite, take that.