A blog by Lori Lyons

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bye Bye Barbie

One by one I plucked their naked little bodies from the drawer.

Gently, firmly, I tried to smooth their wild hair, wondering how in the hell it got that way. Too many wild parties in the big pink house? A couple of too-fast spins in the little purple convertible? Or, as my daughter is wont to do, not combing it out after a dip in the pool?

A couple, I had to strip myself. Their once-sparkling dresses now in tatters. Of course, it has been a while since their guardian and I have been shopping for new clothes. They've probably been wearing the same outfit for more than a year now.

Then, one by one I put the good ones in a new box. Not the floozies. They're a bad influence.

The drawers now emptied, I went through the left-over possessions.

A tiny set of dishes, knives and forks. A cell phone (with a handle to prevent dropping). A microphone. A refrigerator. A stove. TWO flat screen TVs. A sofa. Chairs. A bed. A toaster. A set of barbeque utensils.  The little pink toilet.

And 4,762 shoes. Those, I won't miss.

But the rest?

It is a bittersweet day in the life of every mom of every little girl, the day you ask what to do with all this stuff and she says, "Get rid of it. All of it. I don't play with Barbies anymore."

It means she's growing up. Moving on. Now she spends all of her time drawing little Anime creatures on her computer tablet and Skyping with her friends. The Barbies, once a whole-hearted obsession, are now forgotten and garner only a rolling of the eyes when mentioned.

So I spent my Saturday  tucking them away in a little box, picking out the good stuff and tossing the tattered, so I can pass them along to another little girl, one whose mom is just now entering the world of hair that refuses to be tamed and clothes that no respecting mom would ever let her daughter wear out of the house.  And 4,762 shoes -- most of them on the floor.

Just as my mom did all those years ago. (Of course, those are probably now worth a fortune.)

It's another mom's turn to not be able to leave a store without a new doll. To search in vain for one you don't already have and try to steer your child from the skanky outfits toward the pretty dresses, and her shouting, "No! Want this one!" until you give in.

And it's her turn to spend back-aching hours on the floor, changing outfits a dozen times, trying to find two shoes that match, trying to make them stay on the tiny little feet, picking out the perfect accessories and finding whatever household items you can magically make into the rest. And sweeping up stray shoes.

And, someday, it'll be her turn to pack it all away in a box, along with the memories, and close the lid with tears.

Bye Bye Barbie

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  1. The kids grow up too fast. *sigh* I'm really not looking forward to them growing up but it's got to happen one day. Bye Barbie and Ken!

  2. This one grew up in a BLINK! She's only 10!!!

  3. I'm not kidding, I cried when I saw Barbie's RV in the trash. But. I admit we have several boxes of Barbie's and their stuff stashed for Grandkids someday. And I can still open a drawer in my house and randomly find one of those shoes. My youngest will be 16 in 2 months : )

  4. I'm passing these on to a Grand-niece, so at least they'll still be in the family. I was tempted to keep the toilet....

  5. Aw...bye Barbie! Now I wonder what happened to my Barbies......

  6. It's bittersweet when comes the time for a mother to get rid of things that are associated with her daughter's 'baby' days. I got so sentimental every.single.time... it just reminded me of how quickly time passes by, and how strongly I wanted to hold on to my daughter, to her baby smell, to her baby laughs...

    My daughter is now 6.5 years old. She's at the stage where she still wants to snuggle with me, although not as often as before. I just hope I remember to always treasure every moment I have with her.

  7. Alison...Think your mom sold them on eBay???

    Small stuff... Mine has already outgrown me. Has no more need for a mother. Won't let me do anything for her anymore. Except buy her stuff.