Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who says boys don't like dolls?

Having got started on feminist rants, may I introduce you to two important members of our household:

the creatively named Baby Dolly and Noddy.

Baby Dolly joined us two years ago, inspired by the widespread advice that a "baby" of their own is a good toy for siblings-to-be. Big Bro had plenty of stuffed toys, but no baby dolls, so I made my first venture into the doll market, and quickly discovered that the vast majority of baby dolls are (a) clearly baby girls, (b) intended for little girls and (c) blonde haired and smiley. Given that we knew Little Bro was going to be (a) a baby boy, (b) sibling to a little boy and (c) likely to look like Big Bro, who was most definitely not blonde haired or smiley initially:
(I love his myopic "whacha lookin' at?" expression)
Fancy toy shops had "ethnic" dolls of various racial backgrounds, but they all seemed to be pretty expensive for a toy that may well be consigned to the back of the cupboard, so when I spotted the rack of non-feminine, non-blonde dolls at ten bucks apiece at the (otherwise) awful Toys'R'Us, I forgave them their flaws and grabbed one. Big Bro was interested, and a few days later I had one of those irrational moments of relief, realising that yes, Little Bro-to-be might even be Big Bro's friend one day, when Big Bro offered Baby Dolly a prized toy train.

Baby Dolly soon became an important part of Big Bro's life. We took him on adventures in the pram, showed him toys, dressed him, undressed him, dressed him, undressed him... And once Little Bro was on the scene, there were all sorts of other ideas Big Bro came up with- breastfeeding ("mipple, Ba'y Do'y?"), patting, sitting in baby seats, carrying in a sling (brilliant idea by my mum), and offering Ba'y Do'y to Little Bro for a cuddle. These days Baby Dolly comes and goes a bit more, but when he's in-da-house, he gets plenty of attention from both boys. Little Bro is especially interested in those self-shutting eyes; Big Bro likes wardrobe changes (and let me add, finding new clothes for a baby boy doll is even more difficult than finding the baby boy doll in the first place!)

Noddy, on the other hand, has one job- guardian of the cot, keeper of the nocturnal peace. I think the Little Bro-Noddy duo are pretty cute together- if I were going to make a Little Bro doll, he would come out pretty much like Noddy- round face, button nose, big eyelashes and a cowlick. Bring on the Book Week Parade 2014!

Noddy is permitted the occasional wave or photo op, but Little Bro is very strict about him knowing his position. I must say I encourage it- the hoo-haa when Noddy absents himself from the cot really makes me think he may need a stage double...

Of course, when you have dolls in the house, they occasionally need visitors. Like Akeema, let out of a friend's kindy on weekend release. It's a clever idea they had- Abeena visits a different family each weekend with her diary, (parents slave away to live up to the previous weeks' efforts!) and then on Monday Abeena's adventures are the subject of show and tell.

1 comment:

ANB said...

I am glad that your toy names are as original as ours! We have toys called things like Squeaky the Mouse, Honky the Cow (a rattle that makes, well, a honky noise) and Pinky the Dolly (she has bright pink shoes). About our only vaguely original effort is Inge the Dolly (who came home from Sweden with Mum last year). We were put to shame at mothers' group recently when one of the mums announced her child's hippopotamus toy is called Theo Hippodopholous (!)

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