Sunday, 27 April 2008

jill

I found a doll at Sally Ann's last week - tossed up on a high shelf, clothes dusty and askew, one shoe off and bald. I took her down (her hair falling down off the shelf in a separate pile) and looked at her sweet face and thought 'Oh, yes, I could fix you...'

and took her with me.

Now, I'm not given to china dolls. I'm not.* But - why not? I could call it a restoration project.

So to the house she came. Her clothes were in good shape, just dirty, so off they went and I tossed them, turned inside out, into the washer. Her soft cloth body was wiped down with a wet rag, then febreezed and set to dry in a sunny windowsill. I squirted windex through her (still separate from her body) wig, rinsed, then blobbed conditioner through and let it sit for awhile. I scrubbed the top of her naked head and got all the old glue remnants off the top, then put her away in a high place for a few days.

Yesterday I glued her hair on (after rinsing and rinsing and gentle brushing and shaping - God, the hair was a long time to do!) and today Rosey saw her for the first time.

And I lost my doll.

"Oooh" said Rosey, "What is that?"

Now, the last china doll we had in the house died...traumatically. But my girl's eyes were lighting up and she was hugging the doll to her heart and talking to it and....

she's Rosey's doll now.
"What's her name?"

I searched for an old-fashioned name. 'Penelope.'

Rosey hugged the doll again. "Okay, Mama. Penwipy and I are going out to the livingroom now. But I'm going to call her Jill."

I looked at the doll - was she smiling? - and suddenly had a pang of longing for my own sweet-faced Tilly from when I was growing up.

Every little girl should have a doll. No matter how long they last.


-




*Yeah, the last one? Creepy Sailor Doll? She finally broke. All together...awwwww!

16 comments:

Walking With Scissors said...

Can I put in a request to see a full body photo of Jill all restored?

And I agree, every little girl should have a doll. My first doll was called Brenda. My little girl calls her doll "Baby." Very inventive and original, don't you think?

Loth said...

I can only remember having one doll as a little girl. She was called Joanne and she bit the dust when my brother and I dismembered her to add authenticity to an Action Man battle scene. I'm surprised I was allowed to have children, really.

womaninawindow said...

This was lovely. Really lovely. What it is with your writing. I was touching that doll's hair right along with you. Maybe it's the touching that I've done to Teddy Bears and other 'unwanted' items that other people have discarded and I've rescued, and beyond all reason, loved. What a wonderful picture.
And yes, w.w.scissors...a picture of the doll...although I don't really need one.

Sue said...

My first porcelain doll was Gertrude, named after Drew Barrymore's character in ET. My second was Lilly, which is what Susan is... a lily. My daughter adopted them both a few years back.

blackbird said...

I tend to like those dolls before restoration - but not for a little girl...I missed the creepy sailor doll somehow, but you're right. Creepy.

Vacant Uterus said...

That picture of Rosey...

sniff.

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

awh, sweet story and adorable picture of them :) kathleen

trinity67 said...

Aw that's lovely, thank you.

Christy said...

We had a charity project in high school--fixing up old toys and donating them to the poor(er)--we were from rural KY, and all fairly poor.

I fixed this doll up and cried when I had to give her away.

Worried the kid wouldn't care for her, etc.

I loved this post!!!!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Awwwww.

BabelBabe said...

i am soooo sending you Mimi to see what miracle you can work with her...if you dont recall Mimi or like me tried to repress her, there's links on my blog. she's a site for sore eyes ...er, not.

Jenty said...

Sounds like you went to a lot of trouble to fix her up! I'd love to see before and after pics.
And lol at Penwipy... Jill is so much easier to say :)

tut-tut said...

Oh, it's amazing when there's that light of recognition and the doll is just the one . . . weren't you clever to pull the personality out.

Stomper Girl said...

Jill, short for Penwipy. Everyone knows that. Lovely photos of the girls.

Kat said...

So sweet. And you are SO nice to let your dolly go. I couldn't believe it at first, and then I remembered... my SON has stolen one of my treasured dollies too.

Magpie said...

That is a dear dear photo. You actually put conditioner in the doll's hair?