Photograph of three dolls
Left to right under Merida’s arm: Big Baby (note 99 on foot); Sasha, Gregor.

In my computer files, today I found something I had written in June 2011 for one of my daughter’s caretakers. The title of the file is “how not to buy more babies.” Good timing. Last night my husband and I were reminiscing about one of our daughter’s babies which we called “Big Baby.”  Big Baby was purchased from a thrift store in Dayton when my very young daughter fell in love with the hunk of plastic and wouldn’t leave the store without her. Big Baby had “99” sharpied on her foot, because she cost 99 cents. A while later, my daughter agreed to pass Big Baby along to another family. I found a photo of Big Baby with the Sasha dolls from my childhood, and my daughter having a drumming circle with them. Here are my instructions about how not to buy more babies:

We’re working on some population control strategies for the baby dolls in our house. I know it’s hard to say no to her, but this has worked for me:

If she asks to go to the toy store, offer another option, another place to go, like the playground. If she is insistent, say you will take her to the toy store and get her a balloon, she can choose whatever color she wants, but not a baby. This works best if you talk about it before you are there. When you get there, if she grabs and wants a baby, tell her what a nice baby that is, but that baby is for someone else, and that she can come back and VISIT the baby at the store again sometime. (And by the way, what color of balloon would she like?)

There are several reasons we want to control the number of babies in the house:

  1. She has plenty already. There’s too much stuff on the planet and in our house.       We want to teach her that she doesn’t need more and more stuff to be happy. She already has so many other babies that she loves, etc.
  2. For her 4th birthday, we will get her a very special baby, and we want her to understand the idea of quality over quantity.
  3. Also, we want to start teaching her about the value of money. We’re trying to find her a good piggy bank so she can start saving money toward things she wants, so she understands the value of saving and choosing carefully.

With your blessing, we are going to negotiate that some of her babies might come stay at your house, so she will have some other little souls to take care of over there. :)


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