Nov. 19th, 2011

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I was at Toys R Us, having Sparkle pick out a toy for a friend's birthday party.  She'd picked out Dr. Girlfriend, and I was hinting that perhaps a different toy might be better (as neither eight-year-old has ever seen Venture Brothers, and aren't likely to in the future, and I wasn't sure a "Dr.  Girlfriend" would go over well.)

We still had Dr. Girlfriend in the cart, though, dressed in her hot pink Jackie O outfit.  Sparkle stops at the Monster High dolls.  Another little girl says to her very coiffed mother, "Here they are, mom!"

The mother looks at the Monster High dolls skeptically.  "They're kindof creepy," she says disdainfully.  "Like creepy Barbies.  Who makes creepy Barbies?  Why would they even make creepy Barbies?"  She turns to me.  "Do you know why they even make these things like this?"

I say, "Each doll is different from Barbie.  I think the idea is that if you have a doll you love that is really different, and play with them along with your traditional Barbies, then you'll be more likely to think different is okay, and play with different kids."

"I don't want my kids to play with kids like that." the mother stated flatly.

I stood blinking at her, somewhat stunned.  I mean, that's the kind of statement someone might make inside their head, but out loud like that?  Wow.  I didn't know what to do with it and still be nice.  I found myself wondering if the mother was being that way because she could tell Sparkle was different, or because she couldn't.  (Either bad.)

The little girl pointed to the werewolf doll.  "Pleeeease, Mommy?"

"No!" barks the mother.

The little girl turns wistfully to Sparkle, as if seeking support.

"I'm sorry," says Sparkle.  "Your mommy doesn't want you to be friends with me."  And Sparkle took the Cleo (Mummy's daughter) doll for the party.  Stunned, I trailed in Sparkle's wake, thinking there was nothing else I could say, or wanted to, to top that.
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At the birthday party, Sparkle displayed some of her new social skills.  She asked for a turn during some sharing time, colored along with every one during the craft T-shirt making, and sang during the Birthday Song.

Read more... )


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