We have welcomed someone new into our family...Baby Giggles. My sister bought Baby Giggles (in pink) for Zeca for her birthday.
I can imagine my sister in Toys 'R Us at the exact moment she laid eyes on this doll. Her eyes brightened, her smile broadened and she realized it met all of her gift giving criteria...pink (check), makes noise (check) and will make lesbo feminist sister's hair stand on end (check). She swooped up Baby Giggles and dropped her in the cart, cackling all the way to the register. No offense to Baby Giggles but she's weird. She's got a flat, oversized face and an oddly puffy body. To make her giggle, you have to crack her chest and perform CPR. It seems that Baby Giggles likes it rough and, well, that's just creepy.
We are generally into the "natural toys". You know, the ones that are hand carved from wood taken from old growth forests and hand painted by well-paid artisans using only organic paints, plush toys made from organic cotton and sewn using threads hand dyed and woven by fair trade merchants living in a commune in Guatemala - you get the idea. If I was going to pick out a doll for my daughter, and this is a BIG "if" people, it would be one like this:
Here's the deal, though, Zeca has the lovely German-made Waldorf doll pictured above. She received it from some friends of ours. We tried to get her to bond with it for months and she repeatedly threw it on the floor and stomped on it. While it was a tiny bit disturbing to see our very small child pummel a doll that is a symbol of all that is peaceful, we also kind of liked it. Our daughter didn't like dolls! We imagined the patriarchy crumbling at our feet. Then, Zeca met Baby Giggles. Zeca loves Baby Giggles. She loved her from the moment my sister freed Baby Giggles from the box and wires. Zeca squealed in excitement, took the doll into her arms and rocked her. This was not just novelty...Zeca rocks and cuddles Baby Giggles whenever she sees her. It's not even the fact that Baby Giggles giggles because Zeca can't hit the doll with enough force to activate the description-defying mechanical laughter. She just loves Baby Giggles for who she is...a moon-faced doll with a hard box inside, clothed in material with an unusual sheen.
I'm afraid of Baby Giggles. I would vote her "Most Likely to be the Next Star of a Horror Movie". Despite this, my heart softens when I see Zeca hugging her with a huge smile on her face. I have had to push all thoughts of putting Baby Giggles in a trash bag in the basement far from my mind because I really think that Zeca would miss her. So, I have come to accept that Baby Giggles is here to stay. She is part of the family now and, well, if you don't hear from us for awhile...come by our house and make sure we are still alive.