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Why I Plan to Kidnap and Murder ‘Baby Pizza’

June 21st, 2012  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Baby Pizza as she looked when new.

Normally, Sasha is a pretty good kid—and pretty good at playing on her own or with other children. But lately she’s been getting on our fucking nerves, and it’s her damn doll—Baby Pizza, as she’s decided to name it—that’s to blame.

Every morning, every evening, we hear the same thing: “Daddy, I want baby to talk to me.” (When she addresses Mom, she says it in Chinese.) The idea is that one of us will hold Baby Pizza, a Corolle doll recommended by a reader long ago, and engage Sasha in conversation and play.

Very quickly, this became an annoying burden. Unlike other games Sasha likes to play—hide and seek, drawing, Lego building, dancing, etc.—this just requires a level of imagination and child-logic that neither Jean nor I can muster. We want to play with, though! We want to engage in stories and make-believe! But something about this is just impossible. Maybe it’s because Sasha wants us to start the activity, to come up with a storyline. Shouldn’t that be her job?

We’ve tried to turn this back on her. “Sasha,” I’ll tell her, “I want baby to talk to me!” But she absolutely refuses, and so now Jean and I are absolutely refusing. We’ve run out of clever things for Baby Pizza to say. And now I’m considering “losing” Baby Pizza entirely. I mean, I wouldn’t throw the doll away. We paid for it! But that doesn’t mean Baby Pizza couldn’t find her way to a far-off, hidden shelf in the closet, to be rediscovered years hence, when Sasha’s imaginative skills have developed a little more.

Is this bad? Really, I want to play with Sasha—or I want to want to. But it’s so hard! I just can’t think the way she does, I can’t be entertained on her level (unless we’re talking about farting or other silly matters). And I can’t figure out how to distract her from this goddamn doll. Maybe when Baby X—our real child—arrives in mid-September, Sasha can shift her attention to a sibling who can actually talk back. Ah, I get it: This is why people have second kids, right?


Responses

  1. Summer Block says:

    June 21st, 2012at 5:10 pm(#)

    Unfortunately there’s that long gap between when Sasha will demand that Baby #2 talk (immediately) and when Baby #2 can actually talk. Arthur is one and can say a few simple words like “mama” and “duck” and Beatrice is always incredibly frustrated that he can’t “really talk like a big girl” yet.

  2. Mary Pierce says:

    June 24th, 2012at 2:34 pm(#)

    Ah, yes. I remember this well. When my son was little he liked several of his “friends” (i.e. Woody, Elmo, etc.) to talk to him. I actually didn’t mind because I quickly found that I got an entirely different level of conversation from him when he was replying to his “friends.” He would tell them things that he didn’t tell me. I also learned that a made-up-on-the-spot story didn’t have to be that great or meaningful, and if I just started it, Elmo or Woody could just ask, “and then what do you think happened next?” . . . and my son would also add to the story, thereby giving me a pause to think about where to go next.

    If you find it difficult you could turn the activity into a once-a-day event, say at bedtime, by telling your daughter that Pizza Baby will ONLY be able to talk to her or tell her a story at the end of the day, because. . . . and make up a reason (and stick to it). Maybe Pizza Baby needs the events of each day to allow her to make up a good story, or to be able to talk about what had happened during the day.

    Whatever you do, DON’T hide Pizza Baby. I had a doll (Debbie Louise) that went missing suddenly, inexplicably, because my mother “accidentally” tossed her. It traumatized me! Obviously. I’d hate to admit how old I am and still remembering how bad I felt. ;-)

    Keep up the good work. It goes by so fast.

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