Thursday, August 28, 2008

Decisions I'm Glad We Made

There are quite a few decisions that we've made that I'm really glad we've made!  

There are the major, life-changing ones like getting married, having kids, joining the Army, and buying a house.  The decision to homeschool might qualify in that category too.  :)  

There are also the not-so-major, pretty inconsequential-in-the-big-scheme-of-things decisions that we've made that I'm pretty glad we've made, too.  Things like buying the van even though all three kids still fit in the back of the little car just fine (WE didn't know Isaak was coming!), and choosing for all 6 of us to go live in a hotel room together for 11 weeks in Alabama.  

There are all the decisions we make on a daily basis for the benefit and edification of our kids; when and how to discipline them, what books to let them read, what movies they watch and how often, what to eat (and not to eat!), etc..

And then there's the decision we made about the Barbies.

Before Isaak was born, we would listen to the girls playing with their Barbies, and I would just cringe at the conversations they had.  When I first gave the Barbies to them, some of it was cute -- they had them being princesses, dancers, mommies, sisters, friends and getting married, going grocery shopping, or going to a ball.  And then it changed.  They started fighting over outfits and accessories, even the Barbies themselves.  It was all about how beautiful they were, whether or not their outfits went together, and the merits of the little tiny mini-skirt and mid-riff baring tank top over the full-length ball gown with sleeves.  I began to hear cries of "That's MINE!", "You broke her head off on PURPOSE!", "MY Barbie was going to get married to that Ken, and you TOOK him!", and worst of all, "You're not my friend anymore because you won't give that to me!".  For the first time, they began to pair off against the third sister (J&M against A, J&A against M, or M& A against J), and tell the excluded one "WE'RE playing a Barbie game, and you can't play with us."  It was almost heartbreaking!  You could take three little girls who were playing together so sweetly and kindly in their kitchen, throw in some Barbies, and get screaming, fighting little monsters!  So, shortly before Isaak was born, using the excuse of the little tiny shoes and chewable hands, we put the Barbies away.  For the first few months, one or another of the girls would ask about them maybe once a week or so, and then they finally quit asking altogether.

Once they finally quit asking about them, Mike and I made the decision to actually get rid of them for good.  We couldn't come up with one positive reason to keep them; it's almost impossible to find modestly styled Barbie clothes that echo the kinds of things I want my daughters to find admirable (think high necklines, loose fit, long hemlines, dresses...), they bring out the worst in my daughters' attitudes toward each other, and we definitely don't need the clutter that comes with Barbies, Barbie clothes, and Barbie accessories!

I told the girls that the Barbies won't be coming back (for a long time, at least!), but that when they're a little older, we'll get them some "big kid" dolls with real hair, like their friend Faith's American Girl Doll.  They think that is an excellent idea, and are eagerly looking forward to them.  But in the meantime, their baby dolls are enjoying some extra attention. :)

And today, while the box of Barbies sits in the office, waiting to be sorted through and banished, Isaak discovered how to open a box.  And made me just THAT much more determined to get rid of the Barbies, for good.