Doll was not meant to be cuddled

From our October 2012 issue

By Gusty Chartrand – Regina, Sask.

I had an Eaton’s beauty doll. Mine was tall, about 12 or 14-inches. All her joints were movable: hips, knees, elbows, and hands. If you placed her legs just so, she could stand on her own.

The doll had a beautiful red and white striped taffeta dress, white slippers, and socks. She was made of something hard and was not meant to be cuddled, so I never played with her much.

She was kept in a big trunk along with other precious and seldom used articles, but every once in awhile I’d get mom to get her out and I’d ‘visit’ and have tea with her. She was like some ladies – ‘beautiful but very cold’.

I also had two other dolls that I played with. They were soft and cuddly, also about 12-inches tall. One closed her eyes when she was laid down. She had beautiful blue eyes with long lashes. The other one’s features were painted on, but she was still lovable.

Both of them cried, “Ma-Ma” when they were bent over.

My big sister, Mary, was a good dressmaker and she made pretty clothes for them. I remember entering one in the Best Dressed Doll competition at the local fair and she won first prize.

When I got married, mom asked me if I wanted to take them with me, but I said I’d leave them until I had a little girl.

Ten years later I went to claim them, but mom said, “Oh, my dear, I gave them to Mary for her little girls. I didn’t think you were ever going to have one.”

It turned out that Barb, my little girl, was not the least bit interested in dolls. She preferred climbing trees and playing with wagons, trucks, and her two pets, Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck.

If she had a doll she’d carry it undressed, by one arm or a leg, and I’d think, “Oh dear, what kind of a mother will she be?”

I needn’t have worried. She turned out to be a gentle, loving mother to her three children and five grandchildren.

Gusty’s two-year-old daughter, Barb, and her dolly.

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