Light Notes

Baby Alive: The doll from Christmas past

We were like commandos on a nighttime raid.

The wake-up call scheduled for the middle of the night.

The assignment: BRING BACK THE BABY ALIVE.

“Mom, are you awake?” Traci whispered as she shook my shoulder. “It’s time.”

My daughter was an expert at this kind of thing. Her body honed to perfection, she’d burned 900 calories the day before. I’d eaten 1800 on her behalf.

After all, this was teamwork.

“I’ll pay for the lattes,” I spoke softly, my frosty breath filling the dark car as I struggled to adjust the stretch on my seatbelt. Funny, it had fit fine on Wednesday.

“Make mine a skinny,” she replied as we slid out the driveway, our mission underway.

Dressed in black, I knew one more eggnog latte could go undetected.

“So fill me in on what we’re after,” I said, the steamy coffee waking me to the reality of the task at hand.

“The first thing we need to accomplish is to find Baby Alive,” Traci said, our headlights piercing the Black Friday morning darkness.

My mind reeled. Baby Alive was baaack? It was like a Stephen King movie.

This same doll that had wreaked havoc on my Christmas more than three decades earlier was rearing her cute little head AGAIN!!

“Don’t you remember the stories I’ve told you about that toy?” I asked incredulously.

“Mom, don’t worry. This one comes with a little potty chair that flushes,” Traci spoke confidently.

Ha! Did I have news for her! There are a lot of messy diaper changes between Christmas morning and potty training that rubber baby. This cooing menace comes equipped with itsy bitsy food packets, itty bitty bottles, teeny tiny diapers and a huge appetite.

“Listen to your mother, Traci,” I muttered. “I can’t have you making the same mistakes I did. The year we gave you that doll, I didn’t have any rest until it choked on a raisin you fed her.”

I could see my words were falling on deaf ears; our feet pounding as we rushed headlong down the Toys R Us aisles. Within moments, on sale Baby Alive had Traci in her grasp.

And when Christmas morning comes, I know 5-year old Hailey will welcome her dolly with open arms. But I’m playing it safe and enjoying the day at home.

I have a feeling granddaughter Hailey might ask me to babysit.

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