Blue Baby’s Side of the Story

Pre Bar-B-Que

Pre Bar-B-Que

I won’t lie, I thought it was the end.  One second I was enjoying the sunrise and the country air and the next second, BAM! I was thrown in a burning can, left to stare at the sooty walls that rose four feet above me.

My first thought was, “What kind of Grandma puts a baby doll in a burning can?”

My second thought was, “I hope it’s not the same kind of Grandma that strikes a match before Christie wakes up and finds me.”

Her Grandma never liked me, and the feeling was entirely mutual.  I never speak ill of the dearly departed, but let me just say she had some issues.  I suppose living through the Depression was unpleasant, but that’s no excuse for trying to bar-b-que an innocent doll.  Yes, I was an eye sore, but the dust bowl wasn’t my fault.  I am a freaking doll.

So can we all agree that putting your granddaughter’s beloved baby doll in a barrel to burn is not normal.

Once I landed in the can, I had no real options except to wait for rescue.  I listened to the bees hovering over the honeysuckle behind me.  Occasionally, a gentle breeze would blow ashes in my face.  “Christie better hurry up and find me, because it smells like someone made bacon and burnt biscuits for breakfast, and those scraps are headed straight for this can on top of me,” I thought.  I had already lost most of my hair– how much more could I endure?

Sure enough, I soon heard Christie’s terrified panting and then saw her fat little fingers grab the top rim of the barrel. Her head bobbed up and down, as she tried jumping up to see if I was in there.  She was not very agile, so this level of aerobic exertion was unnatural for her.  Had I not been in such a dire predicament, I would have worried more about her delicate constitution.

Her brother must have whispered to her that Grandma “may have” put me in the burning can.  He actually might have been the one who helped her drag a stool across the yard so she could reach me.

I had never been so glad to see her.  So what if she fed me cat food at her tea parties and smeared Mary Kay lipstick all over me?  When my choice was burning to death or being over-loved by a three-year-old, I voted for Kitty Kibbles.

As Southern gothic as the whole episode was, I knew Christie would survive this—and much worse.  It was only a matter of time before she would take Mrs. Balden’s English class and read the first line of Anna Karenina (“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”).  She was a smart cookie, and she would learn that this pain merely made her human, along with everyone else in her story.  Except me of course.

I’m just the doll.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

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57 thoughts on “Blue Baby’s Side of the Story

  1. I like the detached air she has about her, but that you can’t help adding a little of that edge that is distinctly you. If you listened to her voice a little more you might learn a thing or two about surrender. Can you imagine having to sit there and wait to be rescued?

  2. Yay! I love that you didn’t make her all weepy and whiny, and that she was more concerned about you, giving us another glimpse into the importance of this episode. And I never had Ms. Balden, but I remember her! I had Ms. McGuire for Freshman English, but I don’t think she lasted long.

  3. This story is super. You manage to keep the poignancy around the dire situation, but I also laughed out loud a few times. My mom threw out my most beloved teddy bear when I left for college at 16, and I’ve forgiven her for just about everything except that. I’m glad Blue Baby survived to tell the tale.

  4. If you want to put her away for now, I’d wrap her in a soft cloth and make her a little bed in a shoe box or dresser drawer. When Sadie is older, you can take her out and share the pieces you wrote and the story about your little girl and Blue Baby.

  5. Great story!
    I really, really like the concept of telling the same story from different perspectives. You’ve done so well with this series! I am not sure that I would have the discipline to write in three different voices as well as you have.
    P.S. Would you just look at how cute you were!!

      • Haha, I didn’t even notice it before! How I missed it, I’ll never know.
        It does look a little “Little Shop Of Horrors” though, doesn’t it? Maybe Blue Baby wasn’t going to get burned after all, maybe Grandma fed that fern baby dolls of days past?
        Haha!

  6. Another great post in the series and I think this one might be my favourite. I really loved hearing the story from the Doll’s perspective, so fun!

    • I am having a shame attack because I can’t shut up about the doll. Blogging is so damn public. I feel like my guts are hanging out. So I thank you for your affirmation. Now I am getting back under the covers.

  7. I really love this….great job! I could really picture her laying there, the breeze blowing, and your head bobbing up suddenly.

    Great picture too. It’s nice to see her with hair.

    (I just remembered washing a barbie’s hair and blow drying it when I was little. The smell and look of burning, melting hair was terrible!)

  8. Christine, your blog re-design looks great. And this post is a gem. I also had a doll with nothing left on her head but the pattern of holes her hair had once sprouted from, but to me she was the most beautiful doll in the world. If my grandmother had tried to burn her. . .I’d still be writing about it!

  9. I love that you are telling this story from different perspectives. As a little girl I could NEVER even consider getting rid of any of my dolls or toys as I believed them to have feelings. I lost Baby boy Tender Love for a few months and if my sister even mentioned it I lost my mind crying to the point of hypervenilating.

  10. You’re on to something here with Blue Baby redux and redux again. This series could be the Velveteen Rabbit for this generation – great writing, feeling and heart. I for one am grateful you put your guts on the page regularly. I love this voice – a great mix of sass and depth (just like you!). And the picture is too adorable (scary, overfertilized fern and all).

  11. Oh, poor Blue Baby!! I loved this. I love that you made this a trilogy! I remember feeling like my doll Honey could talk to me, she was my friend. She meant everything to me. I can’t imagine if she went through such an ordeal – see, I still personify her! This was great. I want to hug her, that poor thing. And poor you too!

  12. First of all, you are the darn cutest thing in that picture!

    And I love the idea that the doll had a voice int his, too. So much fun! Thank you!

  13. Ah, Baby Blue. And again, WTF, Grandma?

    I enjoyed how you made the doll a pragmatic, world weary soul ala the later Toy Storys. I’ll have to check out the second post in the Baby Blue trilogy.

  14. I noticed the Yeah Write link thing on this post (which by the way — AWESOME!), was this a post you wrote for that site? I clicked on the link trying to figure out what this was about but I couldn’t quite well, uh figure it out. Please enlighten me :)

    • Thanks! Check out Yeah Write– I think website is Yeahwrite.me.com. It’s a community of writers who blog and bloggers who write. Each week there are “grids” and a competition that you can submit a post for and people comment on yours and you visit other people’s blogs. There is wonderful feedback and guidance about writing. Check it out. I can post the link shortly but I am on iPhone.

      • It looked like it was something like that but I couldn’t figure out how to sign up or really, where to start. Sounds like its pretty cool to help writers write better.

  15. love hearing more sides to this story…i want to go kiss all my old dolls now just so that they don’t take to the internets to talk crap about me :)

  16. I love this. I just love the tone of the whole piece and the way it closes the circle. The reference to “Southern gothic” struck me as humorous for some reason. Maybe because the doll was so self-aware?

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