Wednesday, September 01, 2010

lesson learned; or a story in four parts

Part I

I'm not a hugely sentimental person.  I love throwing things away and clearing them out (just ask my mom, who retrieved all my high school trophies from the trash when I was packing up for college.  Good thing, too, because Ruth displayed them as hers.  :-) 

But this grubby cloth doll has been with me for the last twenty-six years.  My parents purchased her from a street fair just after I turned one; I named her "Marthy" and she was my constant companion as a child.  I slept with her on my bed all through high school and college (until Neil booted her off, but I still hid her on my side between the bed and the wall).  Sometimes I resented the fact that she wasn't an American Girl doll, but mostly I loved her and sewed her face back on and braided her hair and sat nervously by the washing machine while she spun around and then loved her some more until her face came off again. 

When Abigail was about two, I passed Marthy on to her, with some trepidation.  But she needed to be loved by little girls again.

Part II

Two or three weeks ago, I decided I wanted the girls to have better access to their art supplies, figuring that this would mean that we would have crayons and markers and paints out on a more regular basis, since I am a total feet-dragger about things like this.  (Is it going to make a mess?  Then no, we will not get out the gluesticks!)  But I wanted to change this. 

So Juliet and I spent an afternoon reorganizing all our art supplies.  I moved cookbooks and tablecloths and placemats out of the hutch in the kitchen, and we bought some sliding drawer organizers and stocked them with new construction paper, drawing books, gluesticks, markers, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, etc.  It was a pretty sweet setup.

And yes, the table has been covered with stickiness and paper scraps almost constantly since then (Abigail can barely wait until we finish breakfast).



Part III.

I followed a trail of brown yarn snippets from the kitchen, across the living room, down the hall, and into Juliet's room.  Marthy sat propped against a bedpost.  Juliet sat in front of her, brow furrowed with effort as she carefully snipped and trimmed, then paused to examine her work.

"I give Marfy a nice haircut, Mommy," she said, wide hazel eyes looking up at me happily. 

Part IV.

I did not yell.  I did not scold.  I gently explained that we do not cut dollies, we do not cut in our rooms, and Marthy can't grow new hair.  And that Mommy is sad because this is her special doll from when she was a baby. 

We rebraided Marthy's hair, which was now at least eight inches shorter and featured some short feathered layers.  And a noticeable absence of bangs right slap in the middle of her forehead.

And then Juliet picked up every scrap, and carried them to the trash can.  She told me, "I so very sorry, Mommy, I never do that again."

And I hid the scissors.

And we are going to buy some new yarn, because that poor doll deserves some bangs.  (And a new mouth, and a spin through the washer.)


Neil said...

Poor Marthy. I hope she can be fixed. I guess it's an opportunity to give her highlights, if you want.

Kristyn said...

You were brave to have markers and scissors at such easy access. These things live VERY high at our house and we bring them down almost every afternoon at about 4:00. The kids can use them at the table while I'm fixing dinner and that's it.

Then again I'm ultra paranoid because Jared sliced his hand with scissors about a month ago and I don't want to repeat that...

Rachael said...

Brave, or stupid? :-)

Meghan said...

Not stupid. Just an idealist. But I think I would put the scissors where you control them. Unless you want Juliet and Isaac to have the same haircut.

Kristyn said...

So funny you posted this b/c I was just brainstorming yesterday about how to encourage my little one to be more artistic. This is a good step! And I'll be sure to learn from your mistake with the scissors. :)

And I'm going to try the mozzarella too. Thanks for posting that.

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