by Sara Spock-Carlson
I never dreamt my parents could afford to buy me a Cabbage Patch Kid. Even at 8, I knew it was an expensive toy. Those round, dimpled cheeks, all rosy with joie de vivre, custom outfits, and that little tush, signed by Xavier Roberts called out to me. I shouldn’t have asked for one 72 times, but I needed that doll! Everyone had one and I knew I never would. But my luck changed when Shop-Rite started selling them and my Aunt could get a discount. My parents were able to swing it and she became my most prized possession. I didn’t even like dolls, but I loved that ugly little Belinda Jean. Her blue gingham dress matched her light blue eyes and with rich, brown hair, she was quite unique.
We played together that entire winter, but things changed when snow turned to rain and the flowers started blooming. One April day, it was raining and Belinda Jean wanted to stay inside to avoid a nasty bad hair day. I had just gotten a stylish new apple themed raincoat and needed to show it off to all the 8-year-old studs of the neighborhood. After an hour of traipsing through puddles and chasing down salamanders, I heard my brother shouting for me from the deck. My heart leapt! Perhaps today was the day my big brother would decide it was cool to play with his little sister. Maybe waiting out the rain in an empty house drove him crazy, or all his friends were busy staying dry and he was bored enough to ask me to race matchboxes.
I sprinted through the yard, climbed the steps to our cedar split-level, and bolted into the front entry. My Dad’s old yellow lounge chair was sitting at the top of the steps above me and Belinda Jean was ensconced on the throne. From behind the chair, I heard my brother’s voice, squeaking out a girl’s pitch.
“Mmmmmmm, Sara, have you had a snack?”
It was then I noticed that she was holding a spoon with little brown balls and had what looked like chocolate smeared all over her perfect, dimpled face. He kept squeaking while I stared, mouth agape.
“Are you sure you don’t want to try it? It’s the finest dog poop I could find. Mmmm, Alpo flavored! Straight out of Clyde’s butt. You’ll like it,” he continued as he stifled a laugh.
I slowly made my way up the steps, where I was greeted by the smell. Ugh, the smell. I was reminded of that time I stepped in one of Clyde’s treats in the yard. The stench was so pervasive, my mom had to throw out my shoes. My lip began to tremble, would Belinda Jean meet the same fate as my mary janes?
I freaked. My wretched big brother got an earful of malediction, as harsh my 8-year-old brain could muster. And his timing was off. Minutes later, my Dad arrived home, saw the scene complete with dog poop in his comfy chair, and made my brother use his own toothbrush to wash Belinda Jean’s face. I watched as he scrubbed out those cute little dimples and her face was finally gleaming. Vindication!
But I never touched that stinky doll again. What? She reeked!
Sara Spock-Carlson is a mom, wife, anthropology student, lab assistant, English tutor, and freelance writer. Sara can be found at her green-living blog or at the Sex Lab. No, that’s not what we’re calling it these days.