Lupine loves babies. Real babies, doll babies, babies in books, animal babies, plastic babies. She has been begging for a plastic doll for more than a year and seeks them out constantly at thrift store and friend's houses.
Hm. The plastic doll.
Here is where I reveal my doll snobbery. I know. There is a plastic doll in your playroom, right? I'm not harping on you. Really. I'm just… not crazy about the plastic baby doll.
There are many reasons, some of which are aesthetic (why are some of they so creepy?), some of which are environmental (hello, petroleum), some of which are comfort-based (snuggling a poky plastic doll at night? Ouch.). But mostly it comes down to the imagination. Plastic dolls leave far less room for imagination than a more open-ended cloth doll – homemade or otherwise. Everything is right there at the surface – toes, fingers, wrinkles, belly buttons – and in some cases bodily functions, baby-sounds, and movement – even that strange baby powder-ish smell. There is little left for the mind of the child to shape on their own.
I suspected that Lulu's plastic doll obsession might fade if I made her a Waldorf doll that was a baby – in its face, its form, its proportions, and its heft. I had this pattern on hand and with a few minor modifications created Lupine's Solstice gift. (I used a double layer of doll skin for a smoother, sturdier appearance, added a nose and pink cheeks, and stuffed her with wool and millet to create a heavy yet soft doll, akin to a real baby.)
I think she's perfect. (So does Sage, that tough eight year old boy, who has been begging for his own ever since Solstice.)
And she took me only a few evenings to complete. Really. Dolls are amazingly easy once you get over the fear that you might mess it up. And hey, if you ever want to learn I'd love to teach you how if you're ever in the neighborhood.
Yes, the new doll is definitely a baby, but leaves so much to the young imagination. Lupine named her Bluebell and calls her "my real baby".
Take that, creepy plastic doll.