Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"How do you get this dress up over her butt?!?!"

Oh yes. The time has come. My daughter is four years old, and she is now dragging me, kicking and screaming, into Barbie Hell.

You would think, after 20 years more manufacturing since the last time I held a Barbie, Mattel would have discovered a couple of things about her and fixed them. But alas, they have not:

Barbie still has sticky legs. Not that they are sticky to the touch, mind you - but try to tug a piece of cloth across her legs and see how far you get. The cloth sticks. It's not going anywhere. (I'm actually considering using strips of Barbie legs underneath my area rug in the dining room to hold it in place!) This is not terribly condusive to dressing Barbie. Which is a terrible shame when you are four years old, and you have a six year old brother who likes to undress all of your Barbie dolls every chance he gets.

Barbie still has thumbs. 'Of course she does,' you might be thinking, 'Why wouldn't she?' You may look at them and see thumbs. I look at them and see miniature spikes. Or, perhaps more accurately, I see her hand as a seam-ripper. Her little thumb gets caught in the sleeve of a shirt or dress, and the frustrated four-year-old keeps pushing and pushing, and voila! The sleeve has instantly been ruined...which means the four-year-old is now in tears. Way to go, Mattel! (The more I think about it, the more tempted I am to put a Barbie in the sewing chest for those times when I can't find the seam-ripper. Hmmmm...)

And then there are the shoes. Have you ever met a woman who loses her shoes as often as Barbie does? Surely there is a way to make those shoes stay on her feet and make them easy enough for a small child to put on.

It all boils down to this: You're not old enough to dress Barbie until you're too old to play with her. Welcome to Barbie Hell.