08 February 2011
My baptism doll
The Baptism lesson was the lesson I presented during my Godly Play training course. It’s also the lesson that seems easiest to furnish from a flea market or charity shop! So one of the first items I bought for Godly Play was a baby doll.
Finnish flea markets are like big supermarkets. The sellers are not present: all the stuff for sale is just labeled with a price and a stall number. The customer pays for their goods at a cash register by the exit, and the market itself keeps track of what was bought from whose stall. The disadvantage, I suppose, is that you cannot haggle – the price on the tag is the price you have to pay. But a big advantage to my mind is the lack of hassle! You can pick up an item and carry it around with you until you find a better one (or a cheaper one) in somebody else’s stall. And then you can put the first one back.
I started browsing for dolls. Funnily enough, it hadn’t occurred to me how many dolls have hair. I wanted a smooth head that would be easy to dry off. Soon, though, I found a nice bald doll wearing a little track suit. Then I started hunting through the stalls of baby clothes, trying to find a white dress or shirt that might work as a christening gown. Nothing seemed right – they were all too big for the doll, not fancy enough, and otherwise unsuitable. Imagine my delight then when I came across a stall selling doll clothes (brand new – this seemed to be a stall rented out by a seamstress)… including a range of christening gowns!
I stripped off the track suit to make sure the gown would fit and – Oh. It’s an anatomically correct doll. Ok, I’ll take one pair of bloomers as well, thank you!
(It’s not just a matter of propriety. It’s that I would like the children to be able to imagine the doll as whatever they want it to be, boy or girl. At least until the first time a child takes its bloomers off.)
. A land where so many babies are baptized that there’s a good market for dolls’ christening gowns, and where the dolls are likely to have, um, all their parts. :) Finland