Pretty Ballerina

Grandma Kc wrote this on May 9th, 2015 28 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

I think we’ve all had favorite toys as children. One of mine was a wonderful toy squirrel! It was about the size of a real squirrel and he had a little nut in both hands that he held to his mouth while he sat up on his back two legs. You wound him up and he would hop across the floor while his tail rotated until it hit the floor and it would roll the squirrel over. I really loved that little squirrel.

My favorite stuffed animal was my big purple rabbit! She was about 3′ tall and had beautiful long ears that were purple on the outside and white on the inside. She had long, shiny fur and a pink satin bow around her neck. My parents had given her to me for Easter. I named her Flopsy and she slept sitting in a chair next to the bed I shared with my sister.

I had almost forgotten about my favorite doll until my cousin Suzi sent me this picture of the beautiful ballerina doll that she was making for her great granddaughter. This is the same Aunt Suzi who made Amara so many amazing dolls and doll clothes. She is a doll expert! Seeing her doll made the memories of my own ballerina come flooding back.

Suzi's handmade ballerina doll

I had found my ballerina in the Spiegel’s catalog. She was about 24″ tall and her legs were jointed so that she could do the splits. Her ankles were also jointed so that she could stand “en pointe”. She wore a pink leotard and tutu, white tights and pink satin pointe shoes. She even came with a black stand to hold her and a carrying case. I must have been about 8 years old and I really wanted that doll. I had shown her to my mother and after much begging she had promised to order her for my birthday.

I tried to wait patiently for her to order her but I knew that my mother was not the most reliable person. Just because she said she would order it didn’t mean she would ever get around to actually doing it! It would be one of those cases where my birthday would arrive and she would swear she had ordered it and that it was, “all the stores fault.” I knew my mother. So after a week or two I decided that I would write a letter to Spiegel’s and order it myself. Then I could just get her to write the check and all the hard part would already be done.

It was probably another week and I still had not gotten her to write the check so I had a brainstorm. I was sure this would work! I put the letter, the one that said there was a check enclosed, in a stamped envelope and addressed it to Spiegel’s. Do you remember stamped envelopes? I then — in bold pencil, wrote on the front of the envelope C.O.D. I was sure this meant they would send the doll and make my mother pay for it when it was delivered.

The lady at Spiegel’s called my mother. I had confused her and the mailman who had delivered my letter. I think I even answered the phone when they called! I remember quickly explaining to my mother what I had done and why. I knew I shouldn’t have done it and I didn’t see the whole thing ending well.

It was one of those very rare times that she didn’t get angry. Maybe she was feeling guilty for not having ordered it for me but I sure was surprised. She told the Spiegel’s lady that she would stop by their store the next day and give them a check. And she did.

Weeks later, my doll arrived. She was everything the catalog said she would be but I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that she wouldn’t dance on her own! 8 year-old little girls have high expectations!

28 thoughts on “Pretty Ballerina

  1. Launna

    Those great toys we had memories of… I had a little Scottish doll my grandmother bought me when I was 5… I used to have here standing on my dresser for years. I should have taken a picture of her for that memory.

    That was a cute story Kc… I’m glad your mom actually bought you the ballerina… the toys we want never end up being as good as we hoped πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Don’t get me wrong I loved that doll and I played with her constantly! But I do think I had her so built up in my mind that I thought she would magically dance across the floor all on her own. But since that didn’t work I really didn’t mind being the one to make her dance. Sure do wish I had a picture of her — or of my squirrel! Tried searching for both on eBay but with no luck!

      Reply
  2. Kristi

    Oh, what a great story! You certainly were a resourceful child! I’m sorry the doll didn’t live up to your expectations, but I’m glad you received her.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      How I came to know anything at all about COD at that age I will never know. But it worked!

      Reply
  3. Joyce

    Well, the little Kc we know and love was not going to go without her ballerina! I think the spunkiness we see in you now should be no surprise to anyone! You’ve been a little mover and shaker all of your life! This was also evident in your past posts about your memories for Amara!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I had a manager once tell me that my tenacity was my greatest strength! Maybe it all started with a doll!

      Reply
  4. sarah christian

    Oh, yes, such sweet memories. I had a big baby doll that I carried everywhere, and then a smaller older girl dolls who wore fancy clothes. Not sure if anyone remembers paper dolls and the careful work done to cut out their beautiful clothes. I payed a lot of paper dolls with my best friend, Kathy. Nice to go back in time to good memories. Loved your post. such tender, sweet good thoughts from your past. Been too long, but never forgotten. Note soon.
    Love, Sarah

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I certainly remember paper dolls! You just brought up a memory I hadn’t thought about it ages and I’m going to have to blog about it for Amara! I think paper dolls are pretty much a thing of the past. You can get these little magnetic sets now but it isn’t the same.

      Reply
  5. Stephanie Faris

    What a great story. It’s amazing what expectations you have as a child. You get your hopes set on ONE toy and think that when you get it, it will be one thing. Usually when it’s actually in your hands, it’s not that thing at all, but still nice!

    Reply
  6. Lisa at Grandma's Briefs

    I love this story, Kc. You were certainly determined! I can see why it was your favorite doll, with all you put into getting itβ€”and the fact you actually DID get it from your mom. Sweet.

    PS: Suzi is fabulous! Such incredible handiwork she does. Lovely, lovely!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Suzi really is amazing! She makes the best dolls and lately she’s been making the cutest animal backpacks! She is also extremely lucky to be a great grandmother twice over!

      Reply
  7. Lux Ganzon

    Hehe. That’s so cute. I remember going to my friend’s office. They design dolls. I didn’t want to leave. πŸ˜› They look so real and adorable.

    Reply
  8. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    Okay, I loved this memory. To think at such a young age that you figured out that elaborate system is a hoot. And, we may be older but we always remember our treasured dolls. Please tell your Aunt Suzi that she has some amazing doll making skills. Love her ballerina. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      You would really love some of her other dolls, too. She made the cutest pirate for her great grandson and her puffy quilts are not to be believed but that ballerina really is very special. So is the little great granddaughter who got her for her first birthday!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I still look back and am surprised that she wasn’t angrier with me and I sure am glad I got my doll!

      Reply
  9. Sandy

    I am impressed with your resourcefulness and tenacity in getting your ballerina doll. πŸ™‚ So happy your mom didn’t go into orbit over it, and agreed to pay for it for you. It brought you some wonderful memories and smiles even now.

    Kc already knows this about me – I think dolls are absolutely creepy. Always have and apparently I always will. I hated getting them for Christmas and once everyone realized they never got played with, they stopped buying them for me. I preferred stuffed animals or even better, live animals – cats, dogs, ponies, sheep, cows, pigs, mice, rats, chickens. Growing up on a farm was like heaven for me!!

    I do remember one doll I had that had this head full of blonde curly hair. My grampa was babysitting for me that day (I think I must have been about 5 years old). He had been working in the field all morning and was taking a short nap on the couch after lunch. While he was half asleep, I asked if I could give my doll a haircut. He mumbled something that sounded like “yes” to me. So I started with just a little trim here and there .. and then a little bit more .. until the doll was sporting a very messy looking buzz cut! Grampa woke up just after I’d finished and nearly fell off the couch when he saw what I’d done. He asked me why. [Did I need a reason?] Needless to say, my mom and Grama were not pleased when they came home. Grampa and I were both in trouble for a while. I had a great time though. It was worth it! I am quite sure that was the last doll I ever got.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      So is the Spiegel’s Catalog store still in downtown Hillsdale?

      Grandpas and their granddaughters sure can get into a heap of trouble! I can just imagine the haircut you gave that poor doll. I had forgotten how dolls freaked you out! If you want to get really creeped out by dolls just read this post about Thomas Edison and watch the video. It really creeped Jenna out!

      Reply
  10. Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching

    What a cute story! I remember writing a letter to my friend, asking her to have her mom buy some Easter egg decorations that I had wanted (but my mom would not buy them). I could have read yet, so I asked my mom to spell every word, individually, on the note I was writing.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Your mother must have gotten a kick out of it! So did you get the decorations? Thanks for stopping by AmaraLand!

      Reply
  11. KImberly

    I remember an experience like that, where when I got the advertised “Dolls of the World,” it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I don’t remember any favorite toys. I love when children drag a lovie around till it is worn completely out. Conner did that with a lamb. Love your sister’s talent.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I remember those dolls. They weren’t really the kind you played with but more like the kind you put on a shelf. Amara has always loved dressing and undressing her dolls and thanks to Suzi they have quite the wardrobe. She even dressed them for Halloween this year!

      Reply

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