Where you may see a worn old doll, I see a very special person in my childhood, my grandfather.
It is a Madame Alexander doll that my mother’s father, Banks, gave to me. We grandkids called Banks, “Poppy with Smoky” after Smoky, his bulldog. I know. It’s complicated.
But I loved Poppy with Smoky. We had a very special relationship. After four grandsons, I was born–his only granddaughter and we just clicked. Poppy with Smoky was my guy. MINE. There is a story from my childhood when my mother sent me and Banks to the local bakery and he asked me what I would like. I couldn’t decide, so he bought one of every confection in the store. Poppy with Smoky was very easy to love.
And this wonderful doll was my favorite, second to Raggedy Ann because Poppy with Smoky gave it to me. I thought she was the most beautiful doll in the world. I barely remember her original dress, but I think it was an old fashion hooped dress similar to Annabelle in Tasha Tudor’s book, A is for Annabelle. I loved this doll so much. She only came out for special occasion. I remember she used to sit in the linen closet out of my reach. Then came the fateful day when I could reach her and promptly decided she needed to take a bath with me. Which is where she got that cloudy eye and roughed up hair.
But that didn’t keep me from adoring that doll. I even made her that little skirt/dress she is wearing. Although it is not on her, I made her a pair of stockings out of some old pantyhose, which have long since been lost. And then I put her in a drawer and simply forgot about her, until my parents sent her to me in a box full of things they found in the attic.
As soon as I pulled her out of the box, I thought of Poppy with Smoky and how much I miss him and how much he would have loved LOVED the Peach.
Eric thought the doll was terrifying and should be put out of its misery before it gives the Peach nightmares.
So you can imagine my delight when the the Peach fell in love with that old doll Poppy with Smoky gave me so many years ago. I showed her a picture of Poppy with Smoky and how much I loved him and how special this doll was to me. And how much Poppy with Smoky would have loved her. She clutched my shabbily dressed, one eyed doll to her chest and said, “I LOVE HER!”
We decided to name the doll Hatty (short for Hattelina) after Poppy with Smoky’s mother. I think he would have liked that too.
Now, what to do about that hair… Do they make a hot oil treatment for dolls hair? And has anyone every fixed a doll eye? Or am I going to have to make her a little eye patch? Surely I can’t be the only who wrecked a doll as a kid!