I CAN hardly believe how much girly-ness one small person can inflict onto a family, but sure enough our daughter has us tripping over dolls and pink stuff at every turn.
A big shock to the system was discovering how much dolls clothes cost.
What an utter rip-off. £17.99 for a tiny plain doll’s dress and knickers? That’s more than I pay for clothes for the actual kids. And £5.99 for five doll-sized nappies? It costs less for a pack of 30-odd real ones!
When we finally had a daughter after three beloved sons, I thought we’d escape most of the uber-girl stuff by virtue of her being around boys all the time. Guaranteed tom-boy. None of this gender-stereotyping for my girl.
But since she’s met other girls ( apparently I don’t count), she’s become fixated by dolls, tea-sets and cleaning. So much for the liberation of women.
She’s recently been stripping her dolls of their boring babygros and wrapping them in blankets.
So when some birthday money arrived, we took her to buy some outfits for her dolls. Her 20 quid went on a multi-pack of three girl-doll outfits.
Problem is, one of her three dolls is called Ron.
When we got home we had a grand trying-on session, with me crossing my fingers that Baby Annabel, the chunkier of the three, would squeeze into snug jeans and a t-shirt.
Meanwhile, Baby Ron now sports a pair of pink joggers and a cap-sleeved top.
When I suggested that Baby Ron might actually now be a girl doll rather than a boy doll, she replied firmly: “No, he’s still a boy.” I sincerely hope she stays as non-judgemental and open-minded her whole life.
Having bleated to other parents about the price of dolls’ clothes, I heard two great tips:
The first is never to buy doll’s toys new, but to trawl eBay and car-boot sales for second-hand items. The other is to search charity shops for premature or under-weight baby clothes, which apparently fit most dolls just fine.
My own tip is to use grandma. My mother is a brilliant seamstress and first-class knitter. She makes jumpers for the boys that they actually wear, and very funky hats and ponchos for Bonnie. So I’m going to ask if she’ll make some clothes for the three dolls, Ron, Annabel and Vanessa.
I can see Ron now, in shirt and trousers made from granddad’s old clothes. If I can get her to knit Ron a cardie and make him a cap, it could even be a full-granddad outfit. Needles at the ready Mum?