‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, January 17, 2009

living vicariously

Recently Lucy added a tiny doll to her Made in China collection of neon consumerism. It is called a Peekaboo Petite, and I couldn't scavenge a good picture of hers on ye olde internet, but this will give you an idea what I'm talking about. Lucy's is a couple inches tall and has hair that reaches her knees. Her hair is brown, with lavender streaks. Not goth streaks, more 1960s mod streaks. Her head is much too large for her tiny body, so maybe the hair is proportionate and her body is off.

If anyone had Kiddles back in the day, Peekaboo Petites are remarkably similar. And that's why Lucy is the proud owner of one.

When we were kids, my sister and I had a collection of Kiddles. We made clothes for the ones who were not already dressed as flowers (she had Lily of the Valley) or nobility (I had the King and Queen of Hearts). I made a camper for mine out of a Saltine box. Because my imagination has always been more developed than my fine motor skills, I imagined all the awesome things that were in their camper and shoved the kiddles into the empty box. I think kids should do more of that kind of thing now, as empty Saltine boxes get excellent gas mileage.

We also had a terrific set of paper dolls. We had several paper dolls, but this one set was particularly memorable. So memorable, that I think it shaped my fashion sense and I now realize I have spent my life striving to look like one of these girls. Except slimmer. Each one had different colored hair, and they had these crazy outfits - all floofy and bright. I think this was pajamas and a robe, but at the time I thought it was an outfit - like what Auntie Mame would wear. Cigarette pants, kaftan. You know the drill. I have been on the lookout for this outfit my entire life. I'd also like koolaid-colored hair that flips up at the end, thank you. I do not want ankles that are the size of my feet.

So now Lucy's drinking the 60s mod punch and is playing with Tori Tulip. Tori lives in a Tulip, except she likes to come play with Lucy's mini ponies. They do not hang out in a Saltine box because after writing a piece for our independent newspaper on the value and importance of buying handmade gifts, I did some panic buying and bought Lucy a My Little Pony Balloon House for Christmas. Ahem. Anyway, Tori likes playing with the ponies in their three story, most likely lead painted, plastic house. Who wouldn't?

We had kiddles as an answer to the ubiquitous Barbie madness. I guess mom figured if we were going to have misshapen dolls, they may as well have really big heads. I have always considered kiddles the answer to Barbie. Except, would you like to guess who makes Peekaboo Petites?

Sorry, high moral standards of non-consumerism. I'll catch up to you later.


Dana's Brain said...

I never had a Kiddles - but I definitely did the paper dolls. Loved those! And really, who doesn't want to dress like Auntie Mame!

Kristin said...

I've never heard of any of these dolls. All I remember is Strawberry Shortcake. And my sister's hand-me-down Barbies, which I was not such a fan of. I preferred the G.I. Joes. My brother and I used to sometimes set them on fire in the driveway.

What an idyllic childhood I had.

Marilee said...

My sister and I did Barbie all the way. Barbie fit quite well on those plastic horses. As my sister has always been into horses she had a huge collection. We would use our brother's wooden blocks to build stables, dress our Barbies up in casual clothes and ride them around the bedroom. It was lots of fun. I'm sorry I didn't play Barbies more with my daughter.

Laggin said...

I was a doll girl, but never a Barbie girl. I've raise doll girls--mostly American Girl dolls (which are also owned by Barbie) and consumerism to the nth degree, but they also taught the chickadees so much. Eldest still secretly adores those dolls at almost 16. They are still in her room!

Debbie said...

I must have come along after those dolls. But I sure had my fair share of Barbies.

Susan said...

Dana - I knew I liked you for a reason.

Kristen - ditto above.

Marilee - Barbie had casual clothes? I don't remember those at all. I do remember having a heck of a time getting her into her evening gowns, though.

laggin - I had no idea American Girls were owned by Barbie! All I know about them, really, is what I learned while filling a shopping cart full of American Girl stuff on Chris' work computer and leaving it for his coworkers to find. He married me anyway.

Debbie - I think kiddles had a short life span. Even among my contemporaries, it's hard to find people who knew about them. We are a secret society, perhaps.