Sunday, January 21, 2007

Meet Douglas & Donald

So many things that I could write on this post! So, so, so many things I could write about this photo (above) alone!!! Like:

  • How my mother must just be just drooling at the thought of it: another set of baby twins! She's been telling me for the past year how much she seriously thinks that we should adopt another set of twins from Haiti - "girls this time!" she says. "Yeah, right!" I tell her. But she's "serious," she says. "O.k.," I say, "if you move here and help me do it then I'll adopt another set of twins." That's where the conversation ends. ;0 Sorry, Mom (and Corey!), the babies in the photo are just dolls.
  • Ummm.... just looking at this photo -- how cute would it be if our boys could have baby brothers/sisters -- the baby brother(s)/sister(s) that they so desperately want and beg me for daily?!
  • Ummm.... radical feminism. Nurturing boys to be nurturing boys. Raising sons to be feminist men. Egalitarian relationships in action in parenting. ETC.
  • Ummm.... Do you know how few baby dolls are black in comparison to how many are white? I'll tell you this much: much fewer than 10-12% (the actual estimated percent of black people in the U.S. population)... and that is in a Toys R Us just north of Philly-- a geographic area with a disproportionatly high number of African-Americans compared to most regions of the rest of the country. And do you know how few of the baby dolls that are "black" are actually as dark or darker than my boys??? (Answer: NONE, none even come close.) I could go on and on about how disturbing this is. But I won't.
  • Ummm.... Just look at that photo (above). How cute is that?????? I could write a whole blog just about how darn adorable my bambinos are. But I'll spare you...

So-- I'll just tell you a few things about the new dolls...

Today I wanted to buy Owen a baby doll. I have been wanting to do this for awhile because Owen shows so much love and affection for babies. When he sees a baby his impulse is to cradle its head gently in his own hands. He speaks softly to babies: "Hi baby. It's o.k. baby, it's o.k." He really strongly desires a "baby brother" and asks me for this almost daily. Kyle chimes in too, but lately -- especially -- I've noticed it is a bit more Owen's thing than Kyle's. I think in theory Kyle wants a baby brother (or sister -- Kyle is less adament about the fact that it has to be a brother)... but when Kyle actually sees me hold a baby he gets all bent out of shape. Owen, on the other hand, really wants a baby brother (his stance -- and he's really dug in his heels on this one -- no sister, thank you very much), and seems unphased by it when he sees me hold a baby. Although, I must say, that at lunch today Owen saw a baby at another table (we were in a restaurant) and he said, "Mama- see the baby?!" And I said, "Yup." He said, "I wanna baby brother." I said, "I know sweetie pie. If we had a baby, who would take care of it?" And Owen thought about that for a second then answered, "Jackson's mommy." (!!!!) Anyway-- at Toys R Us Owen picked out this beautiful sleeping baby doll. He didn't want one with the eyes open, only one that was sleeping. It was clear immediately that Owen adored this baby doll. And it was one of those purchases that, immediately after the fact, I felt with all my heart and soul that it was worth every single penny.

We had to buy one for Kyle too (it would have caused the next World War if we hadn't), and Kyle insisted on getting the exact same one. We got the dolls into the carseats with the boys and they proceeded to feed them with little toy baby bottles for the whole car ride home. Owen, especially, is so nurturing with his baby --- he coos to it and gently holds it and carries it around with him and lays it down to sleep and feeds it and talks to it. It is one of the most adorable things I've ever seen in my life. But the funniest part of this entire thing is the names the boys have come up with for their dolls. Owen named his baby "Douglas" before he was even out of the Toys R Us with it. Kyle couldn't think of a name, and eventually he asked Owen to name his baby. Owen quickly named Kyle's baby "Donald." The inside scoop is that Owen loves Thomas the Train and two of Thomas's friends are twin trains (coincidentally the only two black trains) whose names are Donald and Douglas. Owen seems to have a particular fondness for these two trains and likes playing with them on his train table. So, it kind of makes sense that he would name his baby Douglas, then Kyle's baby Donald. I should note, however, that Owen seems completely unselfconscious about the Thomas-BabyDoll connection. He does not seem aware at all that he's named the babies after the trains (let alone the, uh, twin, uh, black trains?!). But still, aside from all that -- really, now, how funny is this Donald-Douglas thing?! (how many kids name their baby dolls Donald and Douglas???)! Especially funny is that of all things- my father's name is Donald and his brother's (my uncle's) name is Douglas. How weird is that?! (Owen has no idea, by the way, of this bizarre coincidence -- he only knows my father as "MorFar"). Anyway, I should mention that later in the car ride home Owen announced that in fact his baby's name is "Douglas James" (again, he's apparently totally unselfconscious of it, but I should tell those of you amongst our readership that may be unaware that another one of the Thomas trains' name is James -- the red train).
The boys are now asleep in their beds with Douglas James and Donald tucked in tight right beside them... along with Lovey Lion and Hunny Bunny and Sheep of course. Owen fell asleep easier and more peacefully tonight than he has in the past couple of couple weeks.

P.S. One final tidbit about Douglas and Donald: Turns out (this was explained to Braydon and I numerous times today) that Douglas likes "warm milk" and Donald likes "cold milk." Hmmm... funny how that is!!!---- Owen likes his milk warm, and Kyle like his milk cold!!?? (And of this remarkable 'coincidence' too the boys seem completely 100% unselfconscious.) ;)


Corey said...


Douglas and Donald are adorable... but don't think your mom and I are going to stop searching for the twin Haitian princesses. You can thank me later.

Love, Corey

Anonymous said...

Heather, This is my favorite post yet :)
xo Maggie

art-sweet said...

This is quite possibly the sweetest post EVER.

Bek said...

That is adorable. I love that those babies not only have dark skin, but their features look black too. Many of the "black" babies I have found look just like white ones w/ darker skin. We might need to get one of those.. My Cubby is very nurturing and since he currenly has a real baby to play with, we are going to wait on a baby purchase, but when we do, I want that one!!! :-)

The Thomas thing is pretty funny too. They seem so earnest...

Anonymous said...

I only know you through the blogosphere having stumbled across your blog through a series of links, but I've been enjoying reading it for the past several weeks.
We have three boys who were each adopted through foster-care as infants or toddlers. Our oldest is AA and dark-skinned, our younger two are Dominican/Caucasian, one is tan/olive and the other is fairly light-skinned. Most of the "black" baby dolls we have found are similar in skin tone to our middle boy(tan/olive), and many have the same features as the "white" baby dolls. Our oldest has a little softbodied Payskool doll that is nearly as dark as he is. He also has a hadmade cloth African doll which is great. Playskool also used to make a "black" My Buddy doll. I think is had the same features as the "white" My Buddy doll, but it had a dark skin tone. You might be able to find 1 or 2 :) on ebay.
Anyway, sorry for the long comment. Your boys are beautiful, and your ennjoyment of them really shines through on the blog. Thanks for sharing.