Petite Clown tumbles out of bed with tears in her eyes. She comes to me and tugs at my pants. She can barely speak. In a hushed voice she tells me, “Mama, my baby’s head is broken.”
She sleeps every night with this doll. It is her baby. My mother got Sweet Bear and Petite Clown a “You and me” doll for Christmas while we were living in America. As soon as Petite Clown had the doll in her hands she instinctively held it close to her. The doll was wrapped in Petite Clown’s love and protection from that moment on.
It reminded me of the first time I held each one of my own children. I saw the same feelings in her for her baby that I had for my real babies. It was like the first time I held Petite Clown’s soft warm body in my arms and fell in love. It was like that with each one of my children. It was the same for Petite Clown.
She fell in love with her baby at first sight.
She had never had a ‘lovey’ until that moment. What a lovey this doll became. Her lips once a soft pink are now rubbed almost gone. There is a tiny scar on it’s head where Boy Blue bite it in jealousy. I have washed the doll’s outfit at least ten times. A permanent smudge which resembles a bruise is on it’s right cheek that it got from a fall. The doll has been held hard too many times and kissed too often for it’s own good.
I have watched Petite Clown sing it to sleep, kiss booboo’s away and snuggle into sleep each night with her doll.
Gently, I took my Petite Clown’s baby into my arms. I inspected the damage. It isn’t good. I closed the Velcro tight on the back of the babies shirt firmly holding the neck in place. It is not completely broken off. However, it is only a matter of time.
I explain that her dolly is hurt. She must sleep by herself now. Petite Clown frowns. “Mama, she will be sad. She doesn’t like to sleep alone.” “I know baby. But, she needs her own bed for a while. Like a hospital bed. You can stay close by at night and watch over her.”
Like the Velveteen Rabbit, Petite Clown’s doll is ‘alive’ because of a child’s love. How can I throw her doll in the trash when it is full of her love? I can’t anymore than I can throw away the treasures from my own childhood which have traveled in a suitcase over the ocean more than once with me.
I’ll put her baby next to her bed tonight. I’ll give Petite Clown blankets to make it comfortable. It is not going to be an easy thing for her. Perhaps, I can buy a shelf where the doll can rest during the times that Petite Clown isn’t playing with her. That way she won’t get rolled on or stepped on while the children wrestle.
Tonight, I will have to find another dolly for her to sleep with while her baby lies close by.