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.