Saturday, November 6, 2010

She's Broken

She came to me in the kitchen in tears. I knew it was coming, and I still hadn't figured out how to deal with her. Her painful expression and tears streaming down her cheeks, a crystal reflection of her broken heart, as she swaddled the porcelain 10 inch doll in her arms.
"Who broke my doll mom? Do you know? Who did it? Did Stella?... Arleigh?.. Emory? Who was it? She's broken! She's gone forever!"

She was wailing.
I was shaking.

This doll had a headache, and now I do too.
It would have been so much easier to lie. To say Arleigh did it. No one blames that kid. He's the youngest, a toddler, and forever a loved baby around here. Or, I could have lied and said I didn't know how it happened, but I didn't think I could do it. After all, I knew exactly who broke the doll.
How can I teach our children to be honest if I lie to them? I want to remind her of this moment when she's 16 and I need truth.
So I told her the truth.
"I did it Addie. I dropped her. I didn't know how to tell you, and was still thinking up a good way to apologize. I'm so sorry." I restrained from passing blame, holding off on a reminder that I'd asked her to take the doll to her room the previous night.
She went stumbling out of the kitchen, doll in her arms, still devastated, as if the truth only hurt more. I think we both would have been happy for at least a moment, to have blamed the toddler.

How could I have done this? Mom's aren't supposed to break the beautiful porcelain face of your baby dolls!? Addie retreated to my bed, where I let her cry for awhile, until I could approach again." Addie, I'm so sorry. We'll try our best to replace her."
"But she can't be replaced. The jewel on her dress is the same as on the necklace of my other doll, mom. They belong together. They are meant to be together". Again- the waterworks were set on full throttle. My heart sank even further. I knew that the other doll, the long lost friend, came from a lady at a flea market here in Belgium. For 5 euro Addie bought herself a world of happiness this summer when she picked out a second doll- a forever friend of the first. A perfect match simply because she spotted the exact same jewel on the flea market doll as the one she had at home- the one that was now cuddled in her arms, and broken.

My conscience must have been working in a sinister mood, because again, I contemplated the possibility of purchasing a doll with the same features, changing the clothing overnight so that she seemed miraculously fixed, and pitching the broken doll- never to again been seen.
But no. Addie would know. Besides, that's not fair- just another lie.

Perhaps the doll should disappear, I considered. Just one day, she would go away and not return. That might be easier, at least after a few days of pretend searching. But I'm not one to play freaky ax murderer. No. If the goal is to raise honest, respectable kids, then I've gotta be honest. At least try.
So now. This doll has a headache, and so do I.

As penance for my sin, I've spent countless hours this week online staring at doll faces. Comparing sizes, manufacturers, hair, and features has left me clueless as to where she was made. She was purchased by a friend in a second hand store (see and there are no markings on the doll with the exception of some writing on one shoe.I researched doll doctors, doll stores, doll collectors, in hopes of finding some sort of solution or at least a speck of information on her. But nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Over the course of the week, Addie handled the situation as well as she could, trying to grieve in her own way. She carried the doll around with shards of porcelain wrapped in a blanket. Occasionally she offered an 'it's ok mom'. But her olive branch only made me feel more guilty. Meanwhile I dream about doll faces and continue to use minimal free time to hunt online for a similar doll. If I had three wishes in life, I think right now I'd use one to repair the doll. Addie seems to have learned a valuable life lesson as well. 'You have to take care of the things you care about, because sometimes, those things just can't be replaced.' as she put it.

If time heals all wounds, I can only hope that the doll's headache and my consequential headache, will heal in time too. Somehow, even if by a little magic.
So now, I'm researching a time machines online. Anything to speed up the healing time.

PS- if you know this doll, or her manufacturer, or anything of the like,
can you please put me out of my misery  let me know?  Thanks!

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elizabem said...

Ahhh... it all makes sense now. Addie sent me a message asking if she could have a doll for christmas. Now I know why. That's too bad.

Fat Pilot said...

Oh Mandy. That's rough. You did the right thing, of course. It sucks all around though. Hope your headache gets better soon. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Mandy, I have a feeling that I have seen similar dolls in Ireland, and that you might be able to find one online from there! Before our trip there this summer, I did some online searches of shops so that I would know what was available. I remember seeing something like your photo! Hope this helps! Bethany