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Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Childhood Obsession

I haven't participated in Mama Kat's writer's workshop in quite awhile so I thought I'd give it a stab today and write about the things I oddly obsessed about as a child.

I am quite sure there were many things I obsessed about but the one I recall most was the utmost importance I placed on my many dolls and stuffed animals.

I LOVED them all. Each.and.every one. and they all had names.  I recall Darlene, Shelia Claudia, Deborah Suzette, and countless others, including my prized collection of Garfields along with all his sidekicks: Odie, Arlene, Pokie and Nermil.

My BFF and I actually went through a stage where we decided they were "real"  and took this to the extreme.  I'm not sure which one of us declared this to be so but we were fully committed and took great lengths to convince everyone around us that it was the full truth.  

I remember us going to the local Sears (back before they were in malls!) with one of our parents and each carrying along two or three of our "babies".  They had these little blue strollers at the door and we each had one packed full.  We overheard a parent with a small child say in disgust, "That's why there aren't any strollers left!  They've got their DOLLS in them!"  We pretended to be shocked and mortified that this horrid woman would call our "children" who were clearly REAL such an ugly word and covered their ears so they couldn't hear this outrageous nonsense.

Looking back on this, I'm surprised our parents didn't get together and discuss whether or not to have the both of us tested and screened for mental disorders.

We pushed them around the neighborhood in baby buggies which led to outright screaming matches to the point of tears with the neighborhood boys who we played softball, road bikes and climbed trees with on a regular basis.  We were totally demolishing and obliterating our good standing reputation over this nonsense yet we held to our guns.

I thought my Dad was going to disown me once over Sheila Claudia.  I think the little incident I'm about to tell you about was the only time in my life, to this day, that I can recall him being truly furious with me.  I lived with my mom but usually spent weekends at his house where I had a stepsister, two years younger than me and a half-brother, 7 years younger. 

It was Christmastime and I was lying under the artificial Christmas tree with Sheila Claudia and playing with the tree in a way that was making it sway.  My brother was very young at the time and nearby.  I accidentally toppled the tree over and it fell on him and S.C.  He was crying and I was screaming, "Sheila!  Sheila!  Sheila's under there!"   Luckily, everyone was okay but I think it took my dad awhile to cool down over that one. 

I can't recall exactly how long we kept up this little charade but I do remember us having a talk about it in my backyard one summer and coming to the mutual agreement that it just wasn't true and that we needed to set things right.

I busted into the back door of the house and walked up to my mother who was washing dishes and said in a point blank and very matter of fact way, " I don't believe in Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy and I know my dolls aren't Real!"  She kind of gave me an open-mouthed stare for a minute and then said, "Well...okay." and I turned on my heels in a very drama queenish sort of way and headed back out to play, and it was never mentioned again.

But...just between you and me...Sheila is still in very good condition and now spends her days tucked quietly and safely away in my cedar chest. 

I may have to pay her a visit today.  ;)

For more writer's workshop posts, visit Mama Kat at Mama's Losin' It.
Mama's Losin' It


  1. I don't remember this specific incident, but I do remember the "shelia, shelia, shelia" I could not understand what your deal with the dolls was. But, as I've gotten older I think that your imagination was very healthy and intact. I kind of wish I could have/would have gone there. I mean, what is the harm in playing house/mommy with your dolls. It's great to model what you think a good mom/family is. I have one child that obsesses over her "dogs". Her bed looks like she raided a stuffed animal museum. And, my other daughter, who is total tomboy still plays with "violet" a lavender clothed doll that she was given when she was @ 3. It's amazing to me that she kept in and plays with it. But, she is a good "mommy". She pushes her around the house in her stroller or buggy....sometimes a little too fast I might add.

    It's a great glimpse into their little hearts. Nurturing something real or not real is a good thing. It's something that really can't be taught and it models healthy behavior.

    So, I'm glad Shelia is in your hope chest. But, I'm wondering if some of our brother's issues aren't due to that specific incident:) he he he

  2. Visiting from Mama Kat's!

    That was a very funny story :)

  3. I remember the Sear's incident.. too funny! Haven't thought about that in ages! However I don't quite remember that discussion in your back yard!
    I still have my cabbage patch kids packed away tightly in my chest too.. Jody Hope and Nelson York. Didn't you go with me to "offically" adopt them at that little shop in Cave Spring? And I actually still have one of my pound puppies sitting out on the bed in my guest bedroom.
    Good memories =)

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  5. I hope you did get that visit with Sheila! :) This reminds me so much of my sister and I. WE LOVED OUR DOLLS!! they had places at the dinner table, dresses, you name it. The part about your baby brother and your doll under the tree cracked me up!!

  6. I always thought my dolls were real, that they did things when I was away, and that they had feelings. The only one who remains is my 39 y.o. teddy bear to whom I used to teach school every summer, along with my Betty Boop doll and my koala bear.