What is a grandma to do?

The gift. My youngest granddaughter was about to have her first birthday and I was wondering what to get her. I decided to ask my daughter-in-law if getting her a doll was a good idea. Her older sister has a special doll named “baby” that has been hers for several years, thus “baby” isn’t shareable. I was given a green light to buy her doll.

One month before the birthday party. I raised two boys, buying a baby doll is not part of my skill set but I was up for the challenge. I spent some time scouring Amazon for the perfect doll. I looked at bald babies, talking babies, princess dolls, dolls that eat and pee.  I didn’t want a doll too small. I was looking for one that was soft-ish and hopefully washable. Along with “baby”, I knew my oldest granddaughter likes Elmo and Mini Mouse, so I stayed away from those. I settled on a Dora the Explorer doll. I studied the description, it matched what I was looking for and the reviews were good, I was sold. It arrived quickly (Amazon Prime), it was a little big but that shouldn’t be a problem, she can drag it around or lay on it. I was happy.  However, my husband did ask me to put it back in the box. I guess having the Dora doll sit in a chair in the living room was “creeping him out”…horror movie flashbacks.resized-Dora2-chair

One week before the birthday party. The older sister proudly shows me her new lunch box…Dora the Explorer. Huh….I didn’t know she even knew who Dora was. I am rationalizing that the selection of lunch boxes at the store must have been small or she liked the monkey on the front (evidently Dora’s sidekick). Honestly, it just didn’t click. Looking back, I should have known something was up when she knew the name of the monkey!

The day of the birthday party. I am pretty excited about the gift. I think it is going to be a big hit. The birthday girl is sitting on mommies lap opening presents. Dora is pulled from the gift bag. My son exclaims, “Oh! This could be a problem”. “What do you mean?” I ask surprised. Well…the answer was that Dora is now the new favorite character of my oldest granddaughter (aka older sister). This timely information is given to me along with a concerned look. Not a problem I thought, my oldest granddaughter is a rational, almost three year old, I will just explain the situation. She wasn’t in the room at the unveiling so I went to get her. I carefully tried to explain that I had purchased a Dora doll for her little sister.   This resulted in her jumping up and making a bee-line for the party, scooping up the doll, hugging it and tucking it under her arm. Meanwhile her parents are explaining to her that this is her sister’s doll, not hers. Without releasing the death grip on the doll, she replies, as confident three year olds do, ‘I am just going to hold it for her’. Oh my! The one year old doesn’t understand what is going on and is having more fun playing with the screaming elephant that her other grandmother got her. Never the less, I told my son that I would fix it.

The fix. So, what is a grandma to do? The peace in the family and my sons confidence in me as a grandmother may depend it. I don’t see another option and my husband is behind me 100% (although he is laughing at the situation I got myself into), I get on-line to order another Dora the Explorer doll! I decide to attach a cute little butterfly patch to her shirt so they can tell them apart. Big sigh.

Lessons learned. Next time get a complete list of each granddaughter’s current, favorite characters, in writing from the parents, before purchasing anything!


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