Brushes with Culture

This is a space where I can reflect on the many fascinating things that I experience. Some of the things I brush with are Culture with a capital C. Others are just intriguing moments. Sometimes I am brushing with these moments in a hurry. This is a chance to relive those moments in tranquility. These are the stories I tell myself in those quieter moments.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Trouble with Small Ones

Annabell (short for Baby Annabell, which is not a name given to her by the six year old also known here as 'Small One', but her name...) is a doll that makes dreadful crying and burbling sounds when left on the kitchen table. Apparently, there is an off button, as Annabell has batteries inside her, but I am informed by the Small One, that crying and burbling is what she is supposed to do.

This is what is said about her in the sales blurb:

Baby Annabell Doll
Description: 18 inch sound and motion sensitive doll.
Baby Annabell babbles gurgles and giggles just like a real baby.
When drinking she makes real sucking sounds with an amazingly realistic mouth movement.
When you rub her tummy she burps.
Baby Annabell closes her eyes yawns breathes little baby snores when asleep.
But be quiet any noise will wake her up again.
Baby Annabell will be a perfect addition to your family.
Requires 4xAA batteries.

This is Small One with her doll Annabell in her house. The house also doubles as a mattress in front room for spare guests, but is more fun in the hall at an angle.

Small One warns me that if we make a noise the crying will start up again and she will have to be nursed back to sleep with a bottle of water. The rest of the family seem to share my dismay at the sounds that emit from her, but are, by now, used to the idea of the doll. (She came last Christmas.) I'm suffering double trauma: at the constant sound of crying and the fact of a doll that replicates all that is most uninspiring about babies. Small One tells me that another doll actually poos and this is what she wants for Christmas this year. Oh sorry, that's one thing that Annabell doesn't do that I find uninspiring about very small ones. Does Annabell smile, sit up, learn, look into Small One's eyes trustingly? Of course not.


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