Dolly Makes Three…and Four…and

Nana knows all about playing with dolls

My granddaughter, little Mika, has recently become quite attached to a baby doll.  She has been carrying it all around with her and even taking it to bed with her.  This is a wonderful development for several reasons.  First would be the fact that she will be gaining a REAL baby in the house this summer so having a doll baby of her own will give her a “special someone” to mimic Mommy with in the coming months.  Secondly, and near and dear to my heart, this new attachment to a doll gives me the chance to play dolls with her.  You see, I had special dolls of my own from an early age and they had a prominent role in my imagination and in much of my play.

My family would gift me with the occasional fragile doll, like this Storybook doll, but they never lasted long around me.  I just loved them too fiercely.

Raggedy Ann and Andy were much better suited to my loving.  I’d wheel them around the house and neighborhood in a little doll buggy.  Raggedy Ann helped me learn how to say my nighttime prayers.

When I’d spend my summers on my grandparents’ farm, my grandma would go up into the closed off bedrooms upstairs and root through the closets until she’d find some of my mother’s old dolls and then she’d bring them down for me.  She always made sure to crochet or knit little dresses for them while I was visiting.

One of my absolute favorite dolls (who is still with me today) was Geraldine.  She had been my mother’s doll and Mom passed her on to me.  The paint on her hands had crazed so Grandma had wrapped masking tape all around her arms and hands to avoid further paint peeling.  Then one arm started to come off so Grandma fashioned a new shoulder socket made from an old t-shirt which worked but resulted in one of her arms hanging about 2 inches lower than the other.  She cried if you tipped her forward and then tipped her back, which I thought was marvelous.

Eventually, I gave her one haircut too many and one eye started to stick shut so my mom decided to pay for her to get a “head transplant.”  She came back to us with a new face and lovely curls and two eyes that opened and closed.  I checked her over and she was still my beloved Geraldine so I didn’t begrudge her a facelift.  She even went with me to the hospital when I had my tonsils out.

I do believe that I’ll let Mika meet Geraldine this month when she comes for a visit but I suspect it will be a short meeting as Mika is still a little too small to play gently with her.  Besides, I’ll need a doll to play with, right?

As the years continued, I got other dolls.  This little American Character doll is currently sleeping on my guest bed upstairs and she’ll definitely be saying “hi” to Mika.  She’s much sturdier than Geraldine so will be able to stand up to a more vigorous welcome from my little Sweet Pea.

It looks like this particular Christmas, I struck the Mother-lode for dolls.  Isn’t that a cute little ironing board and iron behind me, too?  Of course, as I grew older, the baby dolls took a back seat to Barbies and Kens and other more fashionable dolls.

I obviously wasn’t a “one-doll” girl.  Nor was I exclusively a dolly girl.  I liked my stuffed toys as well.  This little black bear was named Snicklefritz.  My dad had given him to my mother but I adopted him for myself as soon as I was able to crawl up on the couch and pull him off of the back of the sofa.  I still have two dear stuffed animals from my childhood up in my bedroom.  They’ve traveled the world with me.  In fact, if they had their own passports, they would probably have more stamps in them than most of you would have.

Yes, Mika and I are going to have fun playing dolls.  I “might” even have a few special dolls here for her.  I can’t wait!  We’re going to have so much fun playing make-believe.  Psst…don’t tell anyone but, I don’t think I ever stopped.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Loved seeing all your photos with dolls. I have one doll from my childhood which I share with my grandkids. But that is the only doll I have. I do love dolls, too.

    Have fun playing with your sweet pea!

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