Everyone else had a plastic baby, with shiny skin and store bought clothes. I didn't have a "pretty baby" as the girls I went to school with had. I had a flat pillow baby, made like a cookie cutter with 2 sides only. I loved her. She was my baby and I took her everywhere. She was my friend and when we had a show and tell day, I brought her, happy that all of my classmates would be able to see my baby.
I got told to take care of the doll. There wasn't extra money for dolls right now. Daddy was in school, Mommy was working at the factory, but all of the money was already earmarked for things.
Carefully, I bundled the doll into my arms and walked to school. I liked to pretend that she was real and that I was her Mommy. When it came time to show and tell, I could hardly wait. I was squirming in my seat.
Each girl went and showed something from their lives at home. Lucy, a girl that would today be called a "Mean Girl" was the first of the girls to go. She went into the hall and came back with a big fine doll stroller, properly called a pram or perambulator. She took each item out, showing off satin edged blankets, embroidered with the name of her doll, tiny matching outfits, down to bows and shoes. Bottles with little ribbons at the neck. Her baby was living a life that real babies only dreamt about.
Next up was Robin. She brought her doll with a fancy pleated skirt and blouse, matching tam hat with a huge pom pom on top and a baby carrier that all of her things were stored in.
Finally, it was me and "Baby's" turn. I walked to the front, showing off my baby. Showing off the quilt that Granny made for her from scraps she saved from when the curtains went up. Showed her pinafore that used to be a hand towel, but Granny saved it for Baby and added a ribbon and shoulder straps. Showed her little cloth diapers, made by my aunt Sarah Grace with little flowers sewn into the corners to hide the snaps. Showed all of Baby's things, only to look up at the girls with their shiny plastic dolls sneering at me. My heart was broken. How could they not love Baby? She was the only one there that was homemade. She was the only one there that had things made especially for her by someone who loved me. They obviously did not understand how special Baby was. long dresses for girls
We put away our things and finished the rest of the day. When I went to go home, Baby was missing from my satchel. I looked all over and sat in the middle of the floor, panicked and scared. Mommy had told me to not lose Baby, and here I was, without her.
The teacher walked into the room. 'What's the matter? Where's your doll, little Baby?" She asked.
"Someone took her and all her things." I managed to get out between choking sobs.
"Stop!" She shouted to everyone in the room.
"The things that were taken get back to where they were NOW, or everyone gets notes, phone calls and visits from me to parents."
Lucy and Robin eyed one another. Walking over to Lucy's fancy pram, they began reaching under the mattress. Baby and her things reappeared, item by item.
"Is that everything?" She asked them.
"Yes." They glumly replied.
"Is that everything, sis?" My teacher asked me.
I looked over everything, and lifting my Baby's dress, even her little diapers were there.
"I WILL be calling your parents, girls." The teacher replied, handing me my sweet Baby. I packed her all into my arms and tucked her things into my satchel.
At home, Granny was there, wanting to know how show and tell had gone. I shared with her what had happened, and how Baby was stolen from me, but the teacher got her back.
"Well, of course they wanted to steal Baby." Granny said.
"Why? They have their own dolls." I replied.
"None of their things were made with love. They only have store bought things. You have people who love you. They do, too, but we show our way of love by doing, they show by buying. Never think it is better to have things, because it sure hasn't made them happy."
Granny was right. I hugged Baby and loved her for a very long time after that.