Barbie is such an interesting icon isn’t she? She’s always fabulous, never ages and commands the attention of people from every generation. Ironically, she came up a couple of times today in completely unrelated discussions.
Early this morning I was awakened to a behavioral child development indicator, that I’d not considered previously. It occurred to me that doll preference could be a key factor for observation when trying to uncover my daughter’s natural gifts and personality traits. Let’s call my hypothesis, for the purpose of this writing, “THE BABY vs. BARBIE Theory.” You see, I submit to the notion that from the start of early childhood years little girls naturally gravitate primarily to either babies or barbies. Rarely, do they seem to be equally obsessed with both. Olivia is crazy about baby dolls. I mean CRAZY. Today, before she left for the nanny, she discussed her baby’s feeding schedule, diaper changes, doctor’s appointment etc with me. At one point, she left the baby with me to babysit, as she “had to get to Publix” I could see the concern in her eyes and all of her gestures toward the baby were quite nurturing and empathetic for a 3-year old. She pushes the doll in a stroller or shopping cart, tucks her into bed at night and carries detailed and engaging conversations with the baby referring to her as “little sweetheart.”. It is both heartwarming and endearing. I, on the other hand, as a child had no interest in baby dolls or cuddling them. I loved Barbie. It was all about how many outfits Barbie had and if she was living large in her dream house. In fact, I felt it quite important that Barbie had a notable and well-paying job. Therefore, I solicited my mother for the Day-to-Night Barbie fully equip with her studio apartment and office. My Barbie did not have kids and if she did, well….baby sister Skipper could watch them. Or, perhaps Miko would fly in from Hawaii and help out? You see, Barbie lovers reveal a significant hint: the forthcoming of a an independent, strong-willed and tenacious young lady, perhaps somewhat void of the more nurturing attributes. She may be mildly obsessed with fashion, and shopping. Barbie lives life in the fast lane, always smiling and striving to have it all! I made the distinction between mine and Olivia’s toy preference to my husband as if I’d discovered something hugely important. He grinned and rolled his eyes. Deep down, I think he knows I’m on to something.
A little later, I was faced with the subject of Barbie in Pilates. There is a specific leg exercise for which the trainer refers to circling your legs like Barbie doll legs. So, the torso and hips are stable and only the legs are moving. It’s difficult and unnatural much like Barbie. But, it reminded me again that even as adults, we often find ourselves emulating a doll. With legs swirling and mind fixed on my breath, I remembered sweet Olivia.
I envisioned her caressing the baby doll. Livie affectionately snuggling her babies while shrugging off the 3 Barbie Dolls I offered her, gave me a little hope; that a softer, gentler, kinder piece of myself may someday finally be manifest in the eyes of my daughter.
Oh, Day 2 of the Remix…..