Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh, You Beautiful (Paper) Doll!

My daughter-in-law and her sister like to periodically go on what they call "shonding" expeditions (a decidedly "girls only" type of activity that uses shopping as a vehicle for female bonding). Having raised only boys, I can tell you that this was not an activity that was ever popular in our household. If there's one activity that boys hate--and one that's sure to accomplish the exact opposite of bonding--it's shopping (unless it's at the video game store, but if there's one thing I hate, it's the video game store!).

Anyway, this morning after a feeding we bundled the twins into their carseats and took them for a little ride, and their mommy hit some garage/thrift/estate sales. It was a great opportunity for my daughter-in-law and me to do a little female bonding of our own. And I can only imagine how much fun it will be for her when the babies get older and the three of them can sift through all the thrift sale goodies together. There will probably be a lot of "shonding" in their future!

My daughter-in-law found some great deals on clothes, children's books, and fabric in our travels today; but I think the neatest thing she brought home with her was a large collection of paper dolls, most of them quite old. Paper dolls were extremely popular playthings for little girls of my generation, but you just don't see them that much these days. Looking through this collection was like taking a trip back in time: there were "Brady Bunch" paper dolls; there was a "Mrs. Beasley" paper doll set (remember Buffy's doll, Mrs. Beasley, from that old T.V. show "Family Affair"?); there were bridal party paper dolls, and Barbies, too; but best of all, there were some vintage babies and children which were just too cute for words.

My very favorite is this vintage little boy (surprise, surprise; the mother of five boys fell in love with the little boy paper doll!). I think it's so funny that "I am a good boy" is emblazoned on the front of one of his little paper outfits. There is a vintage little girl paper doll, apparently the sister to this one, and I noticed that none of her little paper dresses has "I am a good girl" written on them. Hmmm...I suppose this is because it's little boys who have the rep for naughtiness, while everyone knows that little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I guess this little boy just wanted to make it clear that, his Y chromosome notwithstanding, he's a perfect angel. But you know, my father-in-law always used to tell his kids that they shouldn't brag; he'd say, "If you're good, you don't have to tell anyone; they'll tell you." So...methinks this little paper guy doth protest too much, perhaps. But isn't he just beautiful? What a doll!

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