Saturday, September 7, 2013

Confession Time (involving Barbie)

It was with some excitement that I couriered off a package to my granddaughter on Thursday - it contained the work of my spare time over the last couple of weeks.  At the risk of severely undermining my credibility, I confess that it contained clothes for her various Barbie and Ken dolls.
This morning I was lucky enough to watch her open it - via Skype - and see her (and her brother) dress the dolls.  
Yeah yeah I know all the arguments about girls and Barbies, and the dangers of girls relating to princesses waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince.  But this is a four year old whose dolls are part of her creative play with her almost 6 yr old brother,  as well as in her own imaginative world, and with her friends, and these dolls are brave and strong as well as beautiful and intelligent.  And yes, during the 1980s, [extreme confession spoiler] I bought Barbie sewing patterns.  And made clothes for my own children's dolls and for the school galas where they sold extremely well!  

So yes, Barbie marries Ken.  She is a ballerina, and all sorts of other things.  And what's wrong with that?
But also, these dolls are Ninja princesses, and take part in amazing stories invented by her brother as they play with his Ninjago Lego.  As they opened the parcel and dressed the dolls he was already coming up with new role plays and stories, and as Barbie was adorned with her new amulet, he was figuring out ways the ninjas could circumvent its powers.  "Ah no," I told him, "this is a rare jewel, endowed with a Nana's love that nothing can break.  This will protect the wearer as long as she wears it."
"Hmmmmmm."  he responded, and I know he is already working out game plans and scenarios!

Because life is more than saving the world one organic vegetable at a time. It's  also about making tiny clothes for a darling granddaughter's Barbie dolls.  Because I can.