Monday, November 16, 2009

Lonely Doll memories

I  saw the pink checkered cover in a quaint little toy shop in a upscale mall. It was in the window tucked behind a big box of Tinker Toys.  "Oh wow, I remember that book," I said to my son. We were having an outing with fourteen-month old Brody. "We have to go in and get it."

The store was small and the stroller barely fit around the Tommy Train Table or wooden kitchen set-up where a toddler was cooking dinner. I pulled out my credit card and paid 8.99 with the tax.THE LONELY DOLL was published in 1957. The story and the photographs are by DARE WRIGHT. I was two years old at the time.

Later in the day when I read it to seven year old Kenz, she asked me why the pictures were all in black and white. I told her I didn't think they had color photographs back then. (Can you imagine?) She loved the little teddy bear, who befriends the lonely doll.  He is so cute Nana.

One rainy day, Mr. Bear, his dad, leaves Little Bear and the lonely doll, Edith, alone. The two are not happy about this. They find a closet and a dressing table where they write on a mirror with lipstick. MR. BEAR IS JUST A SILLY OLD THING! They are having fun until they see Mr. Bear's reflection in the mirror. He is watching them. "I may be a silly, Mr. Bear answered , but I know when a naughty little girl needs a spanking."

Oh dear... I'm thinking to myself when I read it to Kenz. I don't remember this part.  Even the word spanking seems so foreign. It almost seems... wrong.  Time out might have been more appropriate. Spanking  though,  was an accepted way to disipline children way back then, before time-out, before explanations on why they made the wrong choice. But, I'm sorry, I have a real hard time with spanking, even the word seems to be.... dated. I don't know that hitting someone is the answer. There is  a biblical mandate, a proverb that says 'spare the rod, spoil the child.' Still I would like to interpret rod to mean time-out or maybe extra chores, or a holding back of a privledge. For as many times that I read LONELY DOLL in my youth, I don't remember being upset about Edith  getting a spanking from Mr, Bear. He wasn't even her parent! I know some people believe in spanking their children. If that is what they truly believe is the best thing for the child, then that is their perogative.

I like books that I read a long long long time ago..... I know they open doors to my long ago childhood.  This one however held a surprize, a long forgotten memory.  The pink checkered cover does bring back an immediate soul response.... it was a book I spent time with, maybe on a rainy day when I was feeling lonely.

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