A New Series: A Few of my Favorite Things – Dolls


I have a friend whose granddaughter is not allowed to play with dolls. I suppose it has something to do with stereotyping, or the notion that dolls have no educational benefit. Imagine denying this little girl, assuming she would love to play with dolls, the pleasure of dressing, mostly undressing, feeding, reading, and putting to bed, the dolls she has named and takes care of.

Playing with dolls as a little girl is one of my favorite memories. I was an only child, given time to PLAY, with an imagination that was set free in a playroom that included a metal sink, stove, and refrigerator. There was a baby buggy and a doll bed, plastic dishes and books I read to my favorite doll, Pamela, and others. To this day, I think of her as one of my first teachers that taught me how to care for and nurture things. I wonder if I would have grown up to care for my garden if Pamela and the other dollies had been forbidden. Thank goodness I have had the pleasure of giving baby dolls not only to my nine granddaughters in their early years, but to other little ones in my life. I hope they will remember the fun of playing with them as I always have.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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11 Responses to A New Series: A Few of my Favorite Things – Dolls

  1. I didn’t play with dolls very much as a little girl. Apparently, our giant dog liked to chew on their rubber heads and that freaked me out as a toddler. I agree though about needing quiet imaginative time as a child. I had a collection of miniature porcelain animals that went on adventures all over my house. I was also a big Lego fan.

  2. sungropam says:

    I am 60 and still have my precious Tiny Tears doll through all of the moves our family made all over the world during a military brat childhood and the moves of my own adulthood. I will give her a hug this morning in honor of your post.

    • Tiny Tears is a lucky little doll. To think she has not been lost along the way or spending her life at the bottom of a box. Instead the little girl who took care of her is still doing so.

  3. johnvic8 says:

    A sweet, sweet story. I think of trains and erector sets for little boys; they were certainly important to me as a little one, trying to gain a bit of dexterity. Sooooo much better than the Xbox which sadly seems to be the “toy” of choice these days.

  4. I’m with Elizabeth. I didn’t play much with dolls when I was little. When I was three or so, I had a favorite doll named Dede, according to my mother, but none after that. I guess I was too much of a tomboy – if I wasn’t swimming or biking or ice skating or climbing or roller skating, I was asleep. I much preferred playing cowboys and Indians or horses. I hate to admit this, but I always thought dolls were kind of sissy. No offense intended! All this undoubtedly because my Dad didn’t get his son until I was six!

    • You and I would have been great friends. I left my dolls tucked up in bed and went on to all the tom boy things too. It was safe to ride our bikes all over town and we skated summer and winter. Ah, such nice memories.

  5. suzjones says:

    I still have Lisa. Lisa went everywhere with me. We wore matching clothes (my mother sewed a lot of my clothes when I was younger) and I even cut her fringe (bangs) for her one day. Sadly whilst mine grew back, hers never did.
    I don’t understand the whole ‘stereotyping’ thing really. I also played trucks and cars with my brother and he played ‘dress ups’ and ‘shop’ with me. I like to think we were both well rounded as adults.

  6. Here, here! Well rounded indeed and allowed to PLAY and how to learn to entertain ourselves. Wish I still had Pamela, but she got lost along the way. Happy memories, right?

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