22 July 2012

another baptism doll

I've written here about finding and purchasing my baptism doll, and her/his christening gown. (The doll is anatomically correct, but he/she wears bloomers so that children can decide for themselves what the doll is.) While at the same flea (super-)market last week, I bought another one for our Play and Pray area at church.

This doll came wearing a badly stained dress but since I wanted to get a christening gown, that didn't worry me at all. The doll was also wearing a pair of white and pink shorts, which will be kept for now as an undergarment. This doll is a bit different than my first one - slightly smaller, mouth pursed for a bottle, one tuft of hair on the forehead, and a little more ambiguous anatomically. I didn't take time to hunt right through the market for the "best" doll (it's an ongoing struggle for me to curb my perfectionist and "maximizer" tendencies), but chose this from among three dolls at the same stall. This one was simply the one most like the one I had already, that the children were used to.

Now that I think about it, there would be advantages to a considerably smaller doll. A smaller doll would be easier to store, and more manageable for small children to work with. Here are two (poor-quality) snapshots of children working with my original doll. They cannot lay the doll in the crook of their arm as I do when I demonstrate what it would be like to baptize a baby.

girl holds doll under left arm, grasping water jug with right handGirl struggles to keep hold of doll while opening oil jar.

On the other hand, it would have been harder to get a christening gown for a smaller doll. I was pleased to see that the doll clothes stall where I'd found the gowns the last time was still in business. There was a smaller selection this time, with only two gowns for sale, both with pink ribbons. So before I take this to church I'd like to replace the ribbon with one in a more neutral color - maybe green? 

baby doll, wearing long white gown with long pink ribbon decoration

Even on this doll (only slightly smaller than my other one) the gown is a little too big. [They're marketed as fitting a "Baby Born" doll.] The sleeves have to be pushed back up over the fingers to the wrists, and the neckline is large. But if I get a rush of energy and determination I could unpick the back placket and re-sew it (by hand - I don't have a machine) to give a better fit. Or I might just leave it - it's not impossible as it is. I gave the doll a wash before clothing it in this new dress and the tuft of hair went all funny... but I managed to curl it around a beeswax taper (!) which held it until it had dried into a cute curl.

Close-up of baby doll, with curl on its forehead. Its sleeves come down to its knuckles.

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