Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad


with 7 comments

Pudding’s American Girl doll came back to us this week, following a brief stay in hospital.  Did you know there was a hospital for dolls?  I remember reading stories about dolly hospital when I was a girl, though no such thing existed back then.

So, shortly after Pudding cropped Kelly’s hair, I discovered that for about 1/3 of the cost of a new doll, we could send her to hospital to be made good as new.  That was the easy part.

The hard part was deciding if that was the right course of action.  If the doll could be fixed, would Pudding ever learn the consequences of her actions?  Would she just do the same thing all over again.  I didn’t know the answer to that, so I decided to let Future Me decide.

Over the following weeks, Pudding’s interest in her doll dwindled to nothing.  She went from playing with her all the time, to discarding her completely.  It seems like a big part of her interest in the doll was her hair.  I don’t know to what extent that was because it made her “pretty” or because she enjoyed the tactile sensation of the hair.  It doesn’t really matter.

What mattered to me was that a source of play had gone from her life.  Some might say that the way Pudding played with her favourite doll- changing her diaper and dressing her up- was repetitive, a hallmark of her autism spectrum disorder.  I would say that she played in a way that made her feel comfortable.  In a challenging, confusing, and out-of-control world, Kelly was hers, she’d earned her, and she played with her just the way she wanted.

So then all the clothes and accessories that relatives had bought Pudding for Christmas went unused too.  There was not only a emotional investment, but a financial one too.  That very pragmatic reason, is what prompted me to finally check Kelly into hospital.

Or so I told myself.  I knew the real truth as we watched her open the box to find her friend complete with pigtails and hospital gown.


Do you see that smile?


That is why.

Sorry, she was moving too fast to get any good ones, but you can definitely see the glee.

I’d do just about anything for that smile.  Even run the risk of another hair-cutting incident.  She adores the gown, her new pinktails, the little get well soon card that came with it.  Most of all, she is happy to have her doll back.  Her real doll, not the short-haired imposter she couldn’t play with.

Pudding is incredibly lucky in that she comes from an advantaged family who can afford to replace a doll.  Goodness knows there is a settlement a little further on from her new school with kids living in shacks without water or electricity.  American Girl dolls are from an entirely different world.

She is growing up learning that we need to help out others who aren’t so fortunate.  Whatever challenges our family might face, they pale into insignificance compared with the way others are struggling.

We’re incredibly lucky in that we get to see that smile.  We get to connect with her, share in her enthusiasm, and see her happy-flappy joy.  Oh, I know how fortunate we are!

Pudding will always be an American Girl, just one growing up with a wider view of the world.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

7 Responses

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  1. That is one fantastic smile!

    Nomads By Nature

    June 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

  2. That’s incredible. I had no idea that such a hospital existed. And after looking at the pictures of Pudding, it was money well spent. I too would do anything to make my son smile. I wonder if the people at the hospital had the doll on a gurney while they performed the operation? If only it was that easy for me to get a full head of hair.

    Jim Reeve

    June 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  3. What a beautiful smile! You can see the absolute joy with being reunited with her doll. Love it!


    June 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

  4. That 2nd photo is priceless. Worth every penny.


    June 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  5. Who wouldn’t do anything for that smile-beautiful girl.


    June 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

  6. We’re not up to American girls yet…. Thank goodness! But I’d be lying if I told you I’d never perused the American Girls catalog for a sweet little Asian American girl doll 😉

    So happy to see Pudding got er special doll back and that the reunion was totally worth the wait (and the money)


    June 15, 2012 at 3:21 am

  7. She has a contagious smile. I’m such a sap – I got teary seeing her open the box. (I understand how the disparity could induce some guilt but as long as we do what we can for others, bringing our own child joy should never make us too guilty). xoxo


    June 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

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