Friday, December 28, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and men

Here is the doll that I spent several weeks making for Penelope's main Christmas present. I know she's not perfect, with her extremely weak chin (in her case, I really don't believe it's indicative of a character flaw though). And her body is made of the softest most squishable cotton velour stuffed with organic wool. She has a lovely feel to her.

The day before we celebrated (we exchanged gifts on the 24th since I was working the day of the 25th) we took the kids to the Forum Diner which is a divey kind of place that Al takes the kis about twice a month. He and Diego are friendly with one of the waitresses there whose name is Pepper (I know, truth is better than fiction sometimes). Anyway, she is so kind, she had Christmas presents for the kids. Big ones actually. Diego got a truck that has flashing lights and sirens and carries about 20 matchbox cars. And Penelope got this doll. Now, I must back up for a moment and say that, because of my line of work, I have witnessed quite a few women in the throes of enchantment with a brand new baby. Usually they hold the baby lightly and stare with wonder at it's face, maybe reaching with a finger to gently trace it's features, then unwrapping it slightly to inspect each delicate finger or toe. When I say that Penelope went through this process, I am not exagerating in the least. And when I say that this is the most horrible doll I have ever seen, I am not exagerating about that either. The skin is a clammy-feeling vinyl. The clothing is a polyester that makes your skin crawl. And the body is actually inflated with air so it has a weird pillowy feel. And it has a strong vanilla scent--like a candle.

When I saw how much she loved this doll, I knew that the prospects for an attachment to the homemade doll were poor. But even I couldn't have predicted how strongly she rejected the doll I made her. She dropped it. She hit it. She would clutch her vinyl doll protectively to her chest while pushing away the green doll. Because I am a grown up, and because I actually enjoy sewing dolls, I was able to tolerate this rejection. But it really weas pretty sad.
Christmas was much better than last year (of course anything that didn't involve Penelope crying for 5 straight hours would have been an improvement), but I still don't quite feel as though we have figured out what our family traditions will be.
Anyway here is Diego opening his "big" present, which was a great scooter from Uncle Jason and Aunt Jessica.
He loves it!
More soon.

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