PLAYING WITH DOLLS

Since my grandchildren started to arrive, I have been delving into boxes and excavating old toys and dolls of all shapes and sizes that not only belonged to my children but also to me! I went on loving dolls until my mother bought me a teenage doll one year (yeah, it predated Barbie …) and said this was the LAST doll I was to have … 😥

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Eldest Grand daughter adores dolls and we spend hours bathing and dressing them in ancient clothes and doing their hair. Recently I produced the black doll which I was given when a small child – minus an eye – I’ve been in touch with a doll’s hospital but haven’t heard from them yet!

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In fact, if there’s anyone out there who knows where I can get dolls mended, I would be glad to hear – a number of them are missing eyes.

Today I decided she was old enough to treat Sylvia, the teenage doll, with respect … so we have spent the afternoon scrubbing and combing and dressing. I also discovered that at some point in the past I had picked up handknitted Barbie doll dresses cheaply at a bazaar, and as she has a collection at home I gave them to her. She was dead chuffed! Her Mum patiently does her best with GD’s passion for dolls, but always hated them herself and much preferred to dream up some very complicated (and usually forbidden) activity …

I never thought I would be allowed to play with dolls again 😉

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17 thoughts on “PLAYING WITH DOLLS

      1. Good luck with that! The Hasting Doll’s Hospital were very generous – they couldn’t fix Daughter’s ‘Baby Born’ so they replaced it – she didn’t notice the difference….xxx

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      2. I thought it was extraordinary… mind you I did have to pay, but I cannot remember how much.

        It was worth the trip to Hastings to the Dolls Hospital just for the fact we happened to see a woman with about ten miniature long haired sausage dogs all on leads spraying out from her hands go past in a sea of rippling sausage dog backs…… I still muse over the memory now and then…..

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  1. My two were never that interested in playing with my Baby dolls – they were happy using their own imagination and tended to play house with their plastic tea set/water in their shed which also contained the “messy” toys – Play Doh,blackboard and easel,(latter might explain why the youngest went onto be a teacher!)

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  2. Was Sylvia actually Sylvia Sindy?

    My sister’s and my last dolls were Sindys (and a selection of her cheaper cousins, as well as her little sister Patch): in their quite detailed family life they all had the surname Sindy and were Susannah, Sarah, Sandra, Samantha, Serena, Selina and Seraphina, while the Patches were Jacqueline and Amanda. The first three were genuine Sindys (Sarah was bought for my sister after Sandra had an encounter with the puppy which left her a permanent invalid) as were the two Patches, but the others were mainly bought or won at church or school fetes.

    Those same fetes were the source of quite a lot of dolls’ clothes including those for the Sindy family, but saving up for and buying the ‘proper’ outfits was part of the shared pleasure with friends, as was the dressmaking.

    When we had a toys exhibition at the museum Sarah was on display dressed in a ball gown made by my mother. The dress was an exact copy of a dress she had made for herself from a very complicated Vogue pattern, but since it was in a very heavy material she had used instead some scraps left from her wedding dress for the doll’s version which makes it very special and I still have all three dresses. I sometimes use Sarah and her dress to demonstrate to quite little children what is meant by mass-produced and home-made.

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    1. No, she predates Sindy and the mass-produced dolls. As far as I can remember she was one of the first ‘teenage’ dolls and came complete in a blue plastic case. I could only get clothes for her from Hamleys, and of course never had the money to do so. Like you, my mother made some clothes for her but I am sorry to say that they seem to have disappeared over the years. I remember a ball dress made out of black net, and another one made from the leftover material of a bridesmaid’s dress of mine! The Sindy clothes do tend to fit her – the Barbie stuff is too narrow.

      That’s a good illustration you have there.

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  3. With a great many electronic toys readily available these days much of the loving of dolls has gone.

    It maybe only a coincidence but lots of the genuine love throughout the world is now sadly missing.

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    1. Little girls seem to move so quickly from loving baby dolls and playing house to playing with teenage dolls and all their accoutrements … a reflection, you may be right Skip, of our changing values … ?

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    1. I am pondering … what it is … about going back to one’s childhood places … and getting in touch with one’s young self … that seems so important and fulfilling … something to do with identity … 🙄

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      1. There is always a need for ‘finding the roots’ of ‘who we are’……Essentially, that is! Analysts are well aware of this….hence their inclination to facilitate the rediscovery for their ‘clients/patients’….;)x

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