As I’ve said in the past, I loved playing with Barbies growing up – LOVED. I’ve been open about this with Ry since her first Barbie doll at the age of, in utero. Some mamas sat with those belly headphones on, I slept with a Barbie standing in my belly button, which made rolling over really uncomfortable.
That said, about a month ago, Ry got this Barbie she really wanted as a reward for getting a vaccination. DO NOT judge me for that — You try telling a 9yo you’ll give her a measles or influenza or small pox free life in return for her to stop hyperventilating and see how that goes…)
My poor parenting tactics aside, when she was younger she would ask that I take care of her more prized dolls when she wasn’t home, brush their hair, check to see that they have both stiletto heels, make sure they’re not suffocating at the bottom of the Barbie drawer (that space is reserved for the Barbies whose hair has matted or who have lost their clothes, or their luster AKA the Barbies I get to be when we play Barbie). I haven’t heard that in a couple of years, but this Barbie sparked something because she came running into my room and we had the following conversation (which is the very reason I spent so many nights with a Barbie taped to my bulging belly:
Ry: Mom, when you’re working and I’m not here do you ever play with my Barbies?
Me: Ummm, no.
Ry: It’s probably because you think I don’t want you to touch them, right?
Me: Ummm, yes?
Ry: Well then, YOU’RE going to LOVE this! You know how I just got that new one and it’s like the most awesome one ever?
Me: How could I forget?
Ry: You realize I’m and probably never gonna let you be her when we play?
Me: Yes *sad face*.
Ry: Well, I was thinking… I mean, I’m just saying, if you want, when you’re taking a break from work, I will let you play with her, but you have to promise not to mess up her hair… annnnnnnd you have to put her back where you got her… annnnnd lay her flat like this *tucks hair neatly and gently places her on the table like she’s made of glass* are you looking? Mom, did you see how I put her down?
Me: Yep, with the hair and the gentle placement?
Ry: Yes. Do you have any questions?
Me: Just a couple questions? *pauses to think* I can play with her as long as I want?
Ry: Yes, but don’t toss her around or just throw her in my drawer without paying attention.
Me: Can she be friends with anyone?
Ry: Yep, you can make her be friends with Monster High, or My Little Ponies, or even Polly Pockets.
Me: Even Polly Pockets? (I had no idea Polly Pockets were second class citizens.)
Ry: Well, the size is off, but they don’t care if you don’t.
(Phew, equality talk, averted.)
Me: Can I change her clothes?
Ry: No, you can not!
Me: Can I put her hair in a ponytail?
Ry: No, that will leave a hump… You should know that.
Me: When you get home, do you get her back, even if I’m in the middle of playing?
Ry: That’s a good question.
Me: Thank you.
Ry: Well, I won’t ask for her back, unless you made up a really great scenario and then I may want to take her part over … Can we just discuss this when it happens?
(I had a feeling I was dangerously close to having my privileges revoked and ended it with that.)
So today, Barbie has sparked conversation that’s taught me a couple things about my kid: She’s pretty accepting of all dolls (unless they’re naked with matted hair). She’s decent at sharing, if she gets to make the rules. Her imagination isn’t impeded by thinking anyone should stop playing when they’re older. (I love that.)
PS – I can’t wait to take my break today…
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XO- Jenny From the Blog
This post is a part of the Barbie Project. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of! Learn more about The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject
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I really enjoyed the conversation you had with Ry! Thanks for sharing this today. 🙂
Very Funny!! I could just picture you and Ry having this conversation. She is very possessive of her Barbies. I can attest to that. LOL
“…but don’t toss her around or just throw her in my drawer …”
HA! Rules are made for a reason!
Barbie does tend to bring out the little girl in us sometimes. Not me, but others.
Yeah. Others. =)