Oh, Polly, How I Loathe Thee

When my little Princess turned six years old this weekend, I wanted to give her something really special. I knew that she wanted a lace shawl, so I wrapped up this one that I made a few months ago as a swatch for an idea that I had. I also gave her the smaller swatch for her doll.

Then, using the same yarn, I created a great little crown. My little princess.

Knowing that this wasn’t enough, I also set out to make her some little dolls. She has always loved Polly Pocket, which I don’t love, so I tried to make an alternative doll. Using a wire and wood frame, I planned to make clothes and accessories, and give her three dolls that I could love, too. A more innocence-friendly dress up doll (read “not anorexic looking with boobs and hips and hootchie clothing”).Here was my first attempt.

The sweater turned out really cute, and the dress is real silk and gorgeous. But, knowing that I was competing with this:

I knew I had a ways to go before I got it right. The sweater was awkward to put on and take off, and the dress was too ill-fitting to be perfect. So, I put that whole idea out of my head, and went for a different toy. This is what I ended up with:

Using embroidery floss, silk flowers and wood glue, I made three beautiful fairy princesses. I put them in a little basket and was so excited to give them to her. On the morning of her birthday, she got up, climbed into my bed and I gave her the gifts I had lovingly made for her.

She was thrilled. She loved every bit and detail. She oooohed over the dolls, wrapped herself in her very own shawl and wore the crown for the rest of the day.

Then, she got her other gifts from family and friends. Nasty, plastic, naked girls with rubber clothing. I am trying not to be spiteful, but really. How can I compete with that? And, while my husband assures me that she does still like her handmade gifts, I know that they aren’t the treasures I intended. And while I realize that my jealousy is a little selfish and irrational, I want to give my kids good things. Treasures. Stuff you can’t get in the stores. Stuff made by my hand with all my heart. Not mass produced, dime-a-dozen junk. It is frustrating.

Oh, Polly, how I loathe thee!