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Good golly, Miss Molly! (01/21/2004)
By Cynthya Porter
If we are supposed to judge our parenting skills by how our children play with their dolls, then I'm in trouble.

Oh sure, my two daughters love their dolls and treat them to all the little girl nurturing a doll can stand. In fact, it's sweet, if you can overlook the fact that they have turned every doll into a mutant of some sort or another through this "nurturing" process.

Take, for example, Molly, a sweet cloth doll with an innocent smile and long yarn hair. The first sign of trouble was some yarn shrapnel on the carpet. Oh, please, no. With growing dread I followed the yarn trail to the sofa. No Molly. On my hands and knees I finally found her, cowering under the sofa, staring back at me with doleful eyes and a new flat top.

But at least she's not a Barbie.

The Barbie collection at my house is like Diversity Village. Thanks to permanent markers, tempera paint and the dog, we have Tattoo Barbie, Alternative Green and Purple Hair Barbie and Shark Attack Barbie, just to name a few. They all live together in the Nudist Colony Dream House, where everyone has been permanently stripped of her clothes.

But they're nothing like Cyborg Baby, the one with the "lifelike" skin who babbles and coos and moves her eyes and mouth like a real baby when you play with her, except one of her eyelids is missing and so is her arm and half her toes. And she keeps making random noises for a long time after you put her down, which scares the hell out of me when I walk by her and see her creepy cyborg eye fluttering at me as she calls me "Mama."

One doll that I don't think is going to be doing much talking anymore is the beautiful Zapf baby doll that my daughter snuck into the bathtub last night. Another cooing, battery-filled baby, this stuffed doll made a 12-pound thud when my daughter dropped her out of the tub onto the floor. By the time I got to the bathroom, the formerly bubbly doll was just making this sad, strange groaning sound. Sorry, Grandma.

Maybe the problem is that my daughters just love their dolls a little too much. I suppose psychologists would say they are just being open-minded and creative.

All I know is that I find dolls under every piece of furniture in my house and I'm pretty sure they're hiding.

I can't say as I blame them, and until Mattel comes out with a Therapist Barbie who can come in and give these dolls some counseling, I'm leaving them right where they are. 


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