Posts Tagged ‘Adoption Dolls’

Babyland

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Todd took Rollie to Monster Jam last night and when Tills heard they were going, she was a little upset. So, my sister and I decided we’d take the day and drive to Cleveland to take her to Babyland General. (We took Dash, too. You know. To see if he’s gay or not.)

Now, neither of us had been there since we were little girls, and admittedly, we were pretty excited. We had “Adoption Dolls” as little girls, before Xavier Roberts sold to Mattel and they renamed them Cabbage Patch Kids, and they were like magic. It is funny now to think how all the moms and daughters of the 80s drank the kool-aid on this one: These dolls are really nothing much to look at. Some of them are damn ugly. (Lisa, I’m looking at Tiffany!) But there was something completely magical about them. I can still remember getting my first one (a knock-off named Stephanie.)

1981_xmas

This is Lisa and Me, Christmas 1981. I am not sure if we got Stephanie and Samantha this Christmas, or if they just came downstairs with us on Christmas morning. (Yes, this was also the year we arrived in the future and got an Atari! And I got The Black Stallion Breyer horse. A magical Christmas, all in all.)

1982_janmybday

And here I am a month later, on my birthday, holding both of the girls before opening my gifts. Lisa and I played with these things So. Much.

And I can remember loving her, and wanting another! I remember going into the toy shop in downtown Alpharetta. (I forget what it was called – maybe the Indian Trading Post? It had an old cigar store Indian out front.) I would go in that shop, and look at all the “real” adoption dolls they had in there. I think part of the magic was that there were so many different colors and combinations of eye and hair color, and they had real baby clothes on, and they were given real first and middle names, just like real babies, and when you adopted one, you got a real birth certificate, with baby footprints and your name signed on it, and their birthdays and everything.

Magic.

So, in the end, i ended up with one knock-off, who was my first, and whom I loved just as much as the next two. Stephanie Lynn was later joined by Minerva and Betsy. (I think those were their names. Guess I need to check the birth certificates.) I suppose i remember Stephanie’s name because i named her myself. The other two came with laminated tags on their hands that had their names Sharpied on.) Minerva was a redhead, and Betsy (?) a raven-haired beauty.

Anyways, I digress, but the point of all this is to say that being a parent is hard and sometimes infuriating, sometimes scary, sometimes sad. But sometimes it is wonderful. Taking your child to do something you did as a child, or teaching them to fish, or seeing them touched by magic that you can still remember and feel? That is one of the most special parts of parenthood. Yesterday was one of those days.

The Ghost Toys of Christmas Past

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

So, my online friend and fellow blogger, Melanie, wrote a really funny post about having to find a particular toy for her daughter for Christmas. Zhu Zhu pets?

I know that my mother is just waiting in the wings to laugh her butt off at me when I go through this v. same thing some Christmas soon. She is still bitter about the whole Cabbage Patch Kid shortage in the early 80s. Girls in Georgia, before Roberts sold out to Mattel or whomever, called these “Adoption Dolls.” They were sold in high-end toy shops, and they were ridiculously expensive. Never mind that my sister and I, living in GA, already had original, signed Xavier Roberts dolls. Two each, no less. That’s right, Annie Mouse and Sport Model were too good for just one $100 dollar craft doll each. Oh, no! We had to have the plastic ones too. Boy, those cabbage patch girls really didn’t smell very good. And I never loved the plastic mass-produced ones nearly as much. I know it is wrong to say that you love one of your children more than the others, and this is true in the adoption doll world, too. But I loved Minerva Vivian and Betsy Eunice, and even knock-off adoption doll, Stephanie Lynn (named her myself), much more than. . . hmm. . . what was her name again? Maybe Lisa will remember. Update: Just went and found her papers in my hope chest, along with all the girls. Ginger Minnie. That was her name.

Ginger Minnie, Cabbage Patch Kid

Ginger Minnie, Cabbage Patch Kid

Cecil, being Cecil, thought that he could get away with the knock-off Adoption Doll. And sure enough, I loved blond, green-eyed Stephanie.

Stephanie Lynn, the knock off

Stephanie Lynn, the knock off

Lisa’s blond, blue-eyed knockoff was Samantha. Minerva, a real Xavier Roberts, was big-boned, red-headed, freckled and green-eyed. Not the prettiest doll on the block, but my first real one, and I loved her.

My first real Xavier Roberts doll.

My first real Xavier Roberts doll.


Then there was Betsy Eunice – black-haired, green-eyed, and well-proportioned, just like Scarlett O’Hara in plush doll form!
My second, dark-haired beauty

My second, dark-haired beauty

And then there was Lisa’s Tiffany.

Oh, Tiffany. . . bless her heart.

I must dig Tiffany out of hiding. Lisa, where is Tiffany? We need to post a picture of Tiffany, particularly of Tiffany’s very strange legs. Preferably a picture of Tiffany naked. This is the most bow-legged adoption doll in creation. They also neglected, at Babyland General, to give Tiffany a waist. So, sad. All of the other adoption dolls, and their mothers, whispered about Tiffany behind their hands when she was carried into a room.

And then we made picket signs out of poster board, sticks from outside, and scotch tape, and proceeded to set up a “Mom and Dad, Please Quit Smoking” picket line in my parents’ bedroom, each adoption doll holding a sign. I can tell you that if that didn’t convince my parents to quit smoking, nothing will convince a parent to quit smoking except for their own decision to quit. We were quite the Carrie Nations. We also used to try to charge my Mom’s side of the family for cussing. Most four-letter words were ten cents. The big ones were a quarter. We loved it when my Uncle Charlie and Cousin Finley got together, because we were assured of a windfall when they came to town. I will never forget that one time, Finley came in and said, “Hell, Charlie, just give the damn kid a fuckin’ twenty!”

Anyway, as of this year, my kids want absolutely everything in sight, but they have not narrowed down their wants to one particular, hard-to-find item. Knock on wood. If you have kids, is there a particular must-have item this year? What special things are you getting your kids? And what special must-have items did you get as a kid? Do you have any funny stories of your parents or yourself staking out K-mart of Richway for that perfect toy?

Oh, and p.s.

You don't want to know what else I found in this hope chest i've had since middle school.

You don't want to know what else I found in this hope chest i've had since middle school.