It just has to make sense to her

It just has to make sense to her

It’s been a while since I had to look down the baby aisle at the supermarket, yet here we stood, arguing about the merits of one brand of dummies over the other. Which one was better, which type had the better reputation, which one was more expensive. And when did dummies become so expensive?

After much debate, we eventually we settled on a packet of three. There were compromises being made, the colours weren’t quite right, tears were on the brink of spilling over, and it was around this point that I realised I was arguing with a ten year old about dummies for a plastic doll that I stopped caring and just rolled with what she wanted.

We got out of the supermarket in one piece. Dummies tucked safely in a bag, which Poss was cradling in her lap. The drive home consisted of her telling me how all her favourite You-Tubers were modifying dummies for their dolls; they can’t use doll dummies, that wouldn’t be right. They have to be real baby dummies.

I’ve heard this all before. Many many times. Along with all the other modifications that can be made to the numerous dolls she has filling up her bedroom. If it’s not the baby dolls, it’s her American Girl Doll.

All of these dolls are treated like little people; they have beds, baths, their outfits are changed regularly. She has matching outfits and proudly dresses them in the same things as her whenever she can. They are taken out to dinner with us, sit at the table and are carried to and from school each day.

When she’s not immersed in Minecraft, she’s busy watching videos about how to change their wigs, where to find the best clothes, how to make them more life-like.

Occasionally she tells me that she’s not going to have children of her own, instead she’s going to buy a reborn doll (warning: don’t click that link if real looking dolls freak you out) and raise that instead. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms, that won’t be happening.

And that’s where I find these things tricky. I know she finds so much joy in playing with these dolls, I know she finds peace and comfort in the routines of dressing and undressing of them and acting out different scenes with them. But somehow I find this particular obsession a hard one to understand.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a few odd things over the years; coins, chewing gum wrappers, rocks, insects and dog breeds, that have left me shaking my head. Then there are the more socially acceptable things; My Little Ponies, fashion designers, Shopkins, Lego, Zelfs and Minecraft that have filled hour after hour.

Generally her special interests are often over as quick as they begun (with a few exceptions), but they run deep and passionate. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that this is common with girls on the spectrum. But this one is the one that I’m finding hardest to understand.

She’s ten. She’s not a little girl anymore. I’m trying to be understanding, trying to show her I’m interested in what she’s into, but she’s starting to get the occasional pimple and we’ve had to buy crop tops; tween years are well and truly here – surely carrying a doll, no matter how stylishly dressed, around with her everywhere is something she should have grown out of by now?

Then I stumbled on a post on Pinterest (the font of all knowledge) that reminded me that it doesn’t actually have to make sense to me. It just has to make sense to her.

So we’ll ride it out. And hopefully I’ll be able to draw the line at those creepy reborn dolls. I have to have a line somewhere, right?

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  1. Mary Preston says:

    I asked my mother for a baby doll when I was 12 years old. She did question it given my age, but when I received that doll at Christmas I was just so thrilled. It filled a need I suppose. (I ended up working in maternity.)

  2. I was still playing with My doll house and Sylvania animals at 12. I bought a baby doll with my own money at 11. Plenty of tume for not being a child later. I still tried to be grownup too soon. I am now obsessed with babies and children, maybe that is what happened to my doll obsession? It grew up too?

  3. I played with dolls well beyond 10, at least until the end of primary school. I don’t remember if my friends did too, but grade 4 and 5 were all about the cabbage patch.
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  4. I would have died at the time rather than admit it but I played with all my dolls till I was at least 14, and possibly longer. In every other way I was a very typical teen. Now I’m seeing a repeat pattern with M who is obsessed with her baby dolls. if we pass one more charity shop and bring home another orphan I shall scream, but the main point is they make her happy. And who am I to argue? She is getting into fashion and style a bit now, and I can see the teenager peeking around the corner of her nearly-nine-years, but I figure it could be a lot worse than dolls 🙂

  5. If it makes you feel better, some of the less desirable obsessions we’ve been through include collecting
    – nail clippings (her own)
    – the capsules her medication comes in (gets opened for consumption, but won’t swallow the actual capsule)
    – used toilet rolls
    – bark, stones, sticks, tree branches.

    Go the doll!

  6. traceyb65 says:

    I CLICKED! oh good heavens those Reborn Dolls. thankfully Miss11 is happy with her Journey Girl, complete with wheelchair, travel trunk, outfits, dog … tbh with her OCD-driven refusal to empathise, I’m kinda happy she has taken to caring for a doll. xt

  7. Wow, my 13 year old has very similar interests to your daughter. Shopkins drive me crazy but before that it was Moshi Monsters and we have to collect whatever Woolworths latest marketing ploy is too. We recently went to NZ and all she wanted to do was shop for My Little Pony blind bags and Shopkins. She has never been interested in dolls but has suddenly become obsessed by Monster High. I don’t particularly like them but I am kind of glad she has finally discovered the joy of dolls. We will just go with it until the next obsession comes along.


  1. […] might be well and truly entering the tween years, but she may have missed the memo. Dolls of all sizes and types litter her bedroom floor; baby dolls, Barbie dolls, American Girl […]

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