… her Smurfs (these are figurines—Happy Meal toys). And keeping track of Clumsy and Smurfette is a full-time job. Here’s how it works: they get left on the slide, in the car, in her yoga bag, in the sand, on a picnic table … and then throughout the day I am blamed if they are not produced immediately upon demand. “MOM, WHERE MY SMURFS?!”
Steve says we need backups. But I’d hate for her to start to think I have a vending machine of her favorite things in my purse, because that will inevitably lead to a moment of disappointment sometime, somewhere inconvenient. “Mom, where my Barbie-in-the-white-dress-but-not-the-pleated-white-dress-the-white-dress-with-the-lace? WHAT?! YOU DON’T HAVE IT??? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO NOT WHINE THE WHOLE FLIGHT TO ORLANDO WITHOUT IT???” See? I think: No backups. I’ve got to strike a balance between “If you leave it somewhere, you might lose it,” and “You’re three, so just this
once billionth time, I have kept track of it for you.”
Incidentally, the Barbies are a few I had saved from my own Barbie days (these are pretty beat-up; all have awful haircuts, for instance, and her favorite by far is missing a NOSE) and a few I found at a thrift store with some homemade 70s-era dresses. Awesome. I know Barbies are iffy in terms of messages to girls and whatnot, but once Violet had seen a Barbie even once, she was hooked. They are all princesses. They love to ride in their thrift-store Barbie hatchback and put each other in cages (I know, WTF, Violet?) and cover each other up for bedtime and search for their mommies together (this is a common scenario, the Missing Mommy scenario … another common one is the quest to find some mysterious castle). So I spend a lot of time changing the outfits of the Barbies in her ragtag collection. Can I just say that if your child is into Barbies, and you remember the Barbie aisles of your youth at Toys R Us, you will be disappointed. Etsy is a much better place to get Barbie clothes and things. MUCH better.
And that is your tip from me about Barbies. Now I have to end this stream of consciousness and locate some Smurfs …