Monday, April 30, 2018

Paper Dolls

Winter evenings were the perfect time to get my box full of paper dolls out and play with them. It was fun dressing them in their many different outfits and pretend they were real. I would make them go on picnics and fine places in cities. The possibilities that my imagination came up with were endless and I spent many happy hours thus occupied.


One evening cousins Emma and Esther came to play. I had my paper dolls spread out and was in quite  another era when they came. They oohed and aahed about my lovely dolls and then we spent all evening playing with them. It was even more fun than usual, until it was time for them to go home. They helped me put my dolls away and then Mom said. "Mary Ann, why don't you divide the paper dolls and send some of them home with Emma and Esther?"

I looked at Mom, horrified at the very thought of having to part with some of my paper dolls. I loved each one and was sure I needed all of them to be able to play with them properly.

Mom was serious about sharing. I agonized over each doll but finally I chose half of them to send home with them, and gently put my half in my dresser drawer.

I have no idea if Emma and Esther played with their paper dolls but I could no longer enjoy mine. When ever I got the box out to play with them I missed the ones that were no longer there and so I would just put them away again.


  1. Oh, my! To a child, toys are similar to children; would your mum have liked somebody to suggest she give away one of her children? Unless your cousins had no paper dolls of their own I'm afraid this was not a wise suggestion I'm so sorry this happened.

  2. I love the pictures of the paper dolls. They were also once one of my very favorite things, and I had a big collection, and for some of them I had drawn even more clothes. But my mom thought it was time to put away childish things one day. She meant no harm but I often wish I could see them again.

  3. Even the best of parents make mistakes. A similar thing happened to me when I was nine years old (funny what is remembered after more than fifty years!) As children, my sisters and I were not allowed to eat candy, except that which we collected at Halloween. That Christmas, however, a relative gave me a small box of chocolates. Right after I lifted the lid of the box, and before I had chosen a piece for myself, my mother "suggested" that I pass the box around to all the other relatives to choose a piece for themselves. Having no choice in the matter, and wearing a pleasant expression (Academy Award-quality acting on my part!), I duly passed around the box of chocolates. By the time the box returned to me, there were very few left for me to choose from. I remember feeling gratitude towards the few relatives who passed the box along without taking a piece. It is important to teach children how to share, but there is a time and place for everything. At least I still have all my teeth at age 62. ;-)

  4. Your paper dolls sound so sweet. I would have been upset to have to give up half of them too. I know it is important to learn to share, but this seems unfair.


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