Once upon a time, many moons ago, I had a doll.
Now, this may not seem terribly out of the ordinary as most little girls have dolls at some point in their lives. Throughout my childhood I had Barbies, Polly Pockets, Jem dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls, dolls that could eat, walk and wet themselves, and then there was a whole array of stuffed animals that lined the back of my bed.
But before the barbies, Ragedy Annes, and even the cabbage patch dolls, there was Parcel.
When I was a very little girl of perhaps four or five years old I had a favourite doll. She couldn’t bend, open or close her eyes, use a diaper and didn’t have fancy clothes–she was just a simple little rag doll that I dragged around everywhere.
And I named her Parcel.
To this day I cannot remember where that name came from–at such a young age I can’t imagine ever having received a parcel delivered to me, though even now getting a parcel in the mail is still one of my absolute favourite things ever.
Anyway. I digress.
Parcel and I were best friends. Despite having a bajillion siblings (okay, five. haha) I was always a bit of a loner kid who preferred doing her own thing. I lived in my picture books and loved to explore the great outdoors, and before I met my Boy-next-door-around-the-corner-and-up-and-down-the-hill real life best friend, Parcel came with me everywhere.
Now then. Because I was clearly older and wiser than Parcel, there was much that I had to teach her. What kind of best friend would I be if I didn’t pass on the wealth of knowledge and skills I had learned in the long five years of my life?
Back in those days the concept of having one’s own room was so far-fetched I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I shared a big room with both of my sisters, thanks to the glorious invention of bunk beds. One night, before any of us had fallen asleep, I apparently decided it was time for Parcel to learn some valuable life skills. As I lay in my bottom bunk bouncing Parcel up and down on my stomach one of my older sisters became interested in what I was doing.
Peeah: “Shop Girl, what are you doing???”
I thought it was the most obvious thing in the world and continued bouncing Parcel up and down on my stomach.
Me: “I’m teaching Parcel how to jump.”
I mean, really now–doesn’t every doll need to learn how to jump at some point in it’s life? I was really just lending a helping hand, but my sisters (and later my brothers) thought that it was the funniest thing in the world. Realizing that I must be doing something wrong Parcel and I stopped the lesson and went to sleep… her jumping lessons all but forgotten (or so I thought).
It’s been nearly 20 years since that day, and Parcel’s jumping is still the root of many a laugh around the dinner table as we reminisce from time to time. I had actually almost forgotten about Parcel and her jumping until Peeah brought her up again this week, and it mad me a bit sad to think that my beloved doll is long gone now.
You see, between my five siblings and I, we accumulated a number of dolls and stuffed animals over the years. When it became difficult to sleep in our beds because there were so many stuffed animals in them my mom developed the “Friend Bag” system. We were allowed to choose a handful of toys to have out at one time, then the rest would go into the basement in a Friend Bag. Every few months my mom would let us bring the bags up and swap out our toys so it was like Christmas all the time.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, Mom was slowly weeding out our toys to donate the ones still in good shape and throwing out the ones that had been “loved” a little too much.
One year Parcel didn’t make the cut…
…she just couldn’t jump high enough.