Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Friday, June 23, 2006

Feeling a Little bit Crafty

Jill's 7th Birthday is fast approaching. When it comes to the kids in my life I generally try and get them exactly what they want for their birthdays, to the best of my ability (and wallet) of course, and I tend to get them books only for the winter holidays. I do it so that during the holidays, when everything is pretty hectic, I can make one trip to Barnes and Noble and be done with a good chunk of my shopping.

Last week Jill and I were discussing plans for her upcoming party and I asked her outright what she'd like me to get her. While she was thinking about it, I added, "If you'd like me to make you something, I will." I was thinking about the beaded necklaces we'd been into lately, or a small knitted blanket, because I've been playing around with knitting needles lately. Her face lit up at this idea, but she surprised me when she said, "Yes, a doll!"

It immediately brought me back to Christmas circa 1983 (give or take), and Jill was in luck because she absolutely loves stories. I told her that the year I was her age exactly all I wanted for Christmas was an Annie doll, as in Little Orphan Annie. Obviously I felt very akin to Annie (and Anne of Green Gables as well, but I'll save that obsession for another day) and movie the had come out only the year before so she was very big that holiday season. On Christmas morning my mother proudly unveiled the doll that she had worked for months to make. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the actual doll, but she was 36" tall (a little bigger than me at the time) and carefully made from this McCall's Pattern:

From the first moment that I laid my eyes upon her I hated her with a passion. I hated her from the tip of her red yarn hair down to her real black patent leather shoes. Why? Because instead of the doll my mother had lovingly made from hand, I wanted this:

The store bought, plastic, probably made by children in a Cambodian sweat shop Annie Doll. I am, of course, ashamed to admit it today, but I cried bitterly and I think I may have actually yelled at my mother something like "I don't want your stinking doll! I won't play with it and you can't make me!"

Jill is clearly a much more enlightened and much less commercial child than I was.

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Anonymous Betti said...

Someone game me a homemade "Raggedy Ann" doll when I was a kid, and to this day, I *still* think it is spooky looking. I tried to give it to a 9 year old friend of mine, and she said "No, she's kinda scary . . ."

9:01 AM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

What a great story...
And truly amazing that you remember your reaction to your old gift...
Good on you!

8:01 PM  
Blogger pinknest said...

i think we've all had feelings like that as children that we look back upon now and feel bad about. but how lovely that you're going to make a doll!

3:12 PM  

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