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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rag Doll

Last Friday was the bug's second birthday; the day before, when I realized I didn't have a real present for her, I pulled a bunch of bags of stuff out of the closet in the sewing room—I'm sorry, home office—and started to make her a doll. Her surprisingly elaborate pretend play for the last few months has involved various stuffed animals, an old hard plastic doll, Phyllis, who used to be mine, and a little baby doll, Giacamo, who's now, for some reason, in the trunk of the car getting tossed around in the dry cement mix that spilled back there. I thought she'd like to play with someone her own age. I worked on the doll that afternoon and part of the morning of the bug's birthday, and even though I've never made a doll or anything like one before I think Stacey (Dad's the namer) turned out okay.

I tried, many times, to embroider a face, but they all ended up looking like those Andean animals with big blank, vacant expressions—that is, just like the weird jackrabbit in profile I made on a wall hanging thing two years ago. So I picked three buttons almost at random, and used them for the eyes and mouth (the mouth button has a little band of Chinese-looking engraving across the center, making it mouthlike).

I've been assured that all rag dolls look a little freaky, and the bug doesn't appear to be at all scared of hers (except when she tried to pull the lace medallion off Stacey's sweater and it was sewed on and wouldn't come off and the bug seemed to think Stacey was being mean by not letting her have it and she refused to even look at her for a full hour; after that disturbing episode I sewed a big snap to the lace and the sweater, and now all is well between the bug and her doll).

I had no idea how to make hair. Here I used a full skein of Paton Glace "Taupe," I think, and it was a real pain. Next time I'll make the hair more stylized and make less of an attempt at verisimilitude.

I cheated, I suppose, by making the doll big enough to wear the bug's old clothes. Someday I'll get around to sewing up the dress I cut out over a year ago, and it'll fit the doll. The bug does like stuffing Stacey's huge but well-formed feet into her old shoes, and putting hats and scarves on her head. Sometimes my reading glasses end up on her too.

I don't think I should worry about the bug's priorities: here she's putting the (unfinished) doll in steerage; the dog gets pride of place.

On February 27, the bug climbed out of her crib on her own, setting in motion the events that led to her first nap in her new bed, pictured below. (Note that this historic nap happened a number of days after I set up her new bed and disassembled the crib.)

Some days she doesn't nap at all, but if she's in a good mood it's not a big deal. She still falls out of bed once or twice or three times a night, but (at least when she's not sick) it's been pretty easy to just go in and help her back up to her pillow and sit or lie down nearby for a few minutes while she goes back to sleep. And she's been pretty good about settling down and falling asleep at bedtime these days—usually after a little bit of cute stalling: a cup of "dulk," more water . . . which of course I'm happy to bring her, and not just because she always says thank you.