toddler’s pleas spare Raggedy Ann


When the Christmas season of 2003 arrived, Jenny was only a few months old. I received a “congratulatory” poinsetta plant from a friend which had a Raggedy Ann doll included. She’s pretty big, over 24″ long, and holding a stuffed snowman. Her green skirt has poinsetta plants on it. She’s cute. Well, sort of.

This Raggedy Ann is just a little off. I’ve looked hard at her and tried to analyze why she just isn’t pretty. It boils down to her smile. She doesn’t have a smooth arc as her mouth. Instead she has a crooked, zigzag mouth which does curve upward into a smile if you consider it as a whole. But on first impressions, it is just very crooked. And it leaves me with the impression of someone a bit mentally deranged. Yes, she’s smiling, but I’m not sure I like what lies behind that smile. What’s hiding behind that snowman, Ann? Something sharp?

Well, Ann got boxed up with all the Christmas decorations, and I forgot about her for a year. Bill wasn’t home that Christmas, so he got to meet her when we pulled everything out to decorate for Christmas 2004. He too was a bit freaked out by her appearance and has given me nothing but flak for the last two years. Since I wasn’t that fond of her, I decided to find her a new home by giving her to the post thrift store. I had her in a brown paper bag with some other things that I thought someone else might like better than I do. We all got into the mini-van to go to the grocery store (and to drop the bag off along the way) when Fritz asked why the bag was in the back. I casually remarked that it was just some stuff I was giving away. Little Jenny’s eyes got big and she said “Not my doll!” Gee, how did she even know it was back there? And how are her comprehension skills that good? What do I have to do around here to give away things?

Well, I had to admit that it was really hers, since it came to congratulate me on her birth. And I had to admit that she did seem to love the doll and played with her while she was on display at the top of of stairs. So, I promised her that the doll wouldn’t be given away, and I pulled her from the bag when we got to the thrift store.

And now I am resigned to hear Bill’s jokes and comments about the scary doll for the next 20 years by which time I hope Jenny is on her own and can decorate her place with Raggedy Mental-Patient Ann.

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