“Mom…” The doll tried. “Baby,” I began to reply. “I feel really bad that I keep asking you to buy me more stuff…” She explained as we walked through the department store. We were shopping for dresses for the many events she needs to attend in the near future: Easter, Confirmation, May Crowning and finally Graduation. “Such is the nature of the beast, doll,” I replied. “Let’s just find you a dress for Easter and we’ll figure out the rest later, okay?” I offered and she accepted.
I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. “Mom, aren’t you going to come in?” The doll asked as I stood outside her dressing room door. “But, I thought…” I began before she waved her hand in front of me and replied, “I’m past that ‘Mom is embarrassing me by being in the dressing room with me’ stage and I’d really like your opinion”. Stepping forward, I didn’t know how to react at first, but quickly got the hang of things. A short time later we found one dress she really liked and would wear for Easter. As for the others, I asked “Doll, are you sure you can’t wear one of the dresses we bought last year that still fit?” Looking down at her feet before replying, she said: “I don’t want anyone to notice its last year’s dress.” She replied. “I’m telling you, darling, they won’t. They’ll be way too busy worried about how they look and what they’re wearing to notice.” She nodded her head with unbelieving eyes, unsure whether to take what I said on faith or as fact.
A few weeks back on a drive to Dayton, Ohio, I noticed the doll copying three different Anime figures across an 8X10″ sheet of paper. She used her iPod to capture an image and then copied them to the page. Since I can’t even draw a stick figure I was quite impressed by what I was seeing. “Doll, you drew those?” I asked reaching for the paper. “Yes and no. I mean, I drew them, but they aren’t my original creations.” She explained. “Why, are they horrible?” she wondered. “No, they’re really good,” I said. Later, after we returned home she said, “I wish I had a real set of sketch pencils because then I could add depth to my drawings..”
A fishing exercise if I have ever heard one….
“How about this? Instead of receiving a basket filled with candy, I fill it with art supplies?” I offered “Okay,” she replied. “Yeah?” I said, not quite believing she gave up candy in her basket. “No, that’s fine, but could you also include colored pencils too?” She asked. “Doll, we have colored pencils around here somewhere, don’t we?” I tried. “Real colored pencils, not the ones we use in school…” she explained. “Ah…well, we’ll see…”
Hidden deep inside the top shelf of the pantry, the doll pulled out her basket filled with candy, Easter morning. “Mom…?” She began to faux protest. “For the sake of argument, there should always be a little candy inside an Easter basket…” I began. Reaching beneath our living room buffet I pulled out a fairly large bag filled with fine art supplies adding “And these were too big to fit inside the basket…” Opening the bag and pulling out the supplies I was immediately rewarded with a huge hug of thanks. “Wow mom, this is better than I expected,” my thoughtful daughter exclaimed. “So long as you use them longer than a week…” I said with a laugh and she replied, “Oh, believe me, I intend to!”