My children in contrast have always had more dolls and soft toys they could handle. I soon got tired of cleaning up after them and around 3 yrs back I packed around 80% of the soft toys and dolls and gave it off to an orphanage. And we flatly refused to buy more.
They understood and never asked. Alright maybe they looked at us hopefully once in a while but one firm shake of the head was enough to make them keep back the toy in its place and walk out of the toyshop without a murmur. Instead we got them books, clay, beads, paints and games like scrabble, monopoly and chess.
Around 2 months before her eleventh birthday which was in September Nikita secretly asked me if we could get her a doll. She even showed me the kind of doll she wanted when we walked past a toystore one day. The dolls[the whole series of them] were attractive with huge buttons for eyes and hair in eye-catching colours. I looked at the price and did a double-take. Nikita looked vaguely guilty, she was like “Mama, they are expensive because they are Lalaloopsies. And Lalaloopsies are very different from other dolls. Please I’ll never ask for anything ever again.” She said she didn't want anything else….no party, no dress, no chocolates to school, didn’t want cake, nothing. Just the doll.
My 1st instinct was to refuse. And I did. And then explained “Nikita there is no way we are going to spend so much money on a doll. I don’t know if you realise but there are people in the world who can pay 3 months school fees for their children with the same amount.”
She turned away very disappointed.
Later I related the whole conversation to the better-half. And the funny bit was even though I refused to consider it then I was half-swayed now “Maybe we should get her this last doll”. But we both knew the price was too much to spend on a doll.
The next one month Nikita was on a roll. She did everything right. She topped in her Sunday School exam, she did very well in her class tests and she did her Arabic on her own & even helped Naina get top marks in Arabic test and saved us the tuition money. As she went about her way we knew she was desperately hoping we’ll change our minds.
Naina inbetween would do her own canvassing “Please Ma, get Chechi the doll, she really wants it. And don’t worry I won’t be sad if you don’t get me one.”
As the birthday closed in both the better-half & I gave up our tough stance and decided to get Nikita what she wanted. After all, she was going to be eleven and that was special we convinced ourselves.
So we let Naina into our secret because we were not sure of the specific doll Nikita was interested in. Naina was thrilled for her sister and readily gave us all the information. Just as we were concluding the conversation after laboriously noting down all the choices, Naina says “And if you feel like you want to get me also a doll, you can” and skips out of the room.
The better-half and I look at each other shell-shocked. This was totally unexpected.
Anyways a day before the big day the better-half goes shopping & calls me from the store. Seems like he checked 3-4 stores and all the stores didn’t have Nikita’s choices. And the store he was standing in right then had an offer where 2 of these dolls packed together had a 20% discount. Ofcourse there was nothing else to do but get them.
The girls were delirious with joy. It didn't matter at all they didn't get the dolls they wanted. And for the next one month they did nothing which didn't include the dolls. Both the dolls are farm girls and are cousins in relation. That's about all I know. There are pages & pages of information on the net about them & ofcourse N&N know it all byheart;-/. The dolls now have their own beds[shoe-boxes transformed], birth certificates, driving-license, cv’s, don’t ask what else, all made painstakingly by the girls at various moments.
Sometimes when I'm cleaning up and they catch me swinging their dolls by the legs they are horrified. They snatch them out of my hands like as if I'm some evil ogre and lovingly cradle them in their arms and carry them back to their rooms. I 'll be grinning to myself;-D
Inbetween Naina’s doll lost her pet[a yellow chick which had come along with the doll]. She went around putting up ‘lost’ posters all around the house & we all searched for it but it was never found. Naina is still heart-broken about its disappearance. After that they have both became extra-careful with their toys.
Once school started after the holidays the attention has gradually lessened but the attachment is still there. Sometimes when I go to check on them after they are asleep I’ll find the dolls hidden under the blankets because they know I don’t like it when they take toys to bed[only bcoz the hard parts will poke & bruise them].
|Their heads are very heavy so they can't stand or sit up:-)|
Nikita’s doll is called ‘Berry’[pink] and Naina’s is ‘Sunny’ but I very pointedly call them ‘Last Dolls’. Let there be no doubts;-).