This is Her Story


My second grader loves them.   All of them. She has a vast collection of baby dolls, stuffed animals and accessories.  My goodness, can she accessorize those babies:  clothes, strollers, bibs, bottles, blankies, stuffed animals for the dolls.

It’s really out of hand.

But she gets it honestly.  Her grandmother has been a doll collector for more than forty years. My mother honed in on her granddaughter’s interest and well, contributed.  Greatly.

A couple of years ago, my daughter’s doll collection expanded to collectible dolls.

A Chatty Cathy doll.  From the 1960’s. 

I wasn’t too sure about this. 

“Mom.  She’s six.  She will play with that doll.  It won’t sit on a shelf and stay, well, collectible.”

This pleased my mother even more.  The two of them shared a knowing look and went off and played together.

My daughter has played with her Chatty Cathy doll for two years.  She has a better wardrobe than I do. And that’s saying a lot.  Because I look smashing in my floral apron dress.  She sits neatly in a tiny chair in the corner of her room.  She is still in perfect condition.

Chatty Cathy is my daughter’s prized possession. 

I’m writing this with a heavy heart because a tragedy occurred.

Chatty was violated in a terrible manner.

This is her story:

As Spring break came to an end, my kids wanted to do one more fun thing.  They decided on a sleepover.  With each other.  Yes, when we say fun, we mean it.

We made a huge pallet on the floor for my son in his big sister's room. My daughter started out there, but crawled back into her bed.  Because her little brother was touching her, with is toe. 

What a surprise.

Once the giggling and the arguing stopped, they fell asleep.

Just after midnight, my husband heard a sound. He got his shotgun—just kidding, he went upstairs and found my son in the hall. 

My little guy is one of those freaky sleepwalkers.  Since this was pretty normal, he sent him back to the pallet.  My son got up again, before my husband was down the stairs.

In a slur of words he conveyed he ‘was hurting.’

“Do you hurt here,” my hubby asked and touched his arm. “Yeah.”

“How about here?” 

“Uh huh.”

So, my husband carried him back to bed after discovery his leg, knee, both arms and earlobes hurt.

At this point, this would have been a clue to me.  But it’s hard to be clued in when you’re in ‘la la land’ chasing around frosting covered cupcakes with extra sprinkles.

By the time my son was gagging, my husband was clued in.  

I was wiping invisible pink cupcake frosting from my lips when I heard my husband in my sleep yelling in hushed tones, “I N-E-E-D You, N-O-W!”

That’s when it dawned on me:  I should have told him about the vomit box.

I’d been carrying around a vomit box in my car for days.  You know, just in case.  My kids had been exposed at school, to a lovely bug I call affectionately ‘pukeydiarreah’ and I wanted to be prepared.

The vomit box sat lonely and unused in my car.  How unfortunate.  I promised my kids I wouldn’t pull over in a parking lot and make them hover over the box again, unless they actually needed it.

I was a little paranoid.

And with good reason.  Apparently.

Nearly breaking my neck, I got to the top of the stairs. 

That’s when it happened.  I watched in horror as my husband realized a moment too late that my son was going to throw up.  He snatched him up and swung him towards the door.  As he did, a rainbow of lunch and dinner splattered onto Chatty Cathy.

She, the wall, the carpet, basically, the room were covered.

Sleep walking.  For pete’s sake.

My husband carried my son into the bathroom, a little late if you asked me.  And no one did.  I was chasing cupcakes in my dreams, so I didn’t say a word.

I leaned down next to Chatty.  (First, I listened for my daughter’s heavy breathing). 

The poor dear.  Her apron dress was filthy.  Her hair, you don’t even want to know. Believe me.

I lovingly removed her clothes.  I threw away her tiny hose and shoes.  It was necessary.

I grabbed her by the string, the only unaffected part, and her voice broke the silence.

“Please take me with you,” she said in her clear dolly voice.  HOLY MOLY.

Not only can she talk, she can feel.  She knows. 

I took her downstairs and did what any loving doll owner’s mother would do:

I sprayed the snot out of that doll.  A whole can of Lysol from head to toe.

Whew.  I felt better immediately. 

I redressed her in another of her dainty outfits and started cleaning up the rest of the room.  Even in the dark, in the middle of the night, my mother-sense said we’d need a professional carpet cleaner.

I was dead on.

We moved my son’s pallet downstairs for the long night ahead.  Before I left my daughter’s stinky room, I whispered a prayer for my son’s health and for my daughter to be loving and forgiving to her sick brother.

I snuck Chatty Cathy back into her place and patted her head.  I prayed that her keen doll sense would forget about this terrible night. 

My son recovered quickly, Chatty seemed to be in good working order and smelled of fresh linen (a new delightful Lysol fragrance).  She even chirped, “I love you” the next day when her string was pulled.

My daughter awoke to stained carpet and a very unpleasant odor.  She referred to her brother as “Vomit-boy” all day. 

If only she knew.




Saph said...

Wow, what a story!! You told it so well. =)
Interesting dream you had about cupcakes. LOL

Sarah said...

What a great story. (except for the pukydiarreah part) I don't think Cathy will be scarred for life. And who knew that Lysol works for getting puke smell off dolls? I'll file that away in the "possibly, but hopefully not, useful information" file."

Heather J. said...

You are a better woman than I.
Not on my children, not on toys, not in the bathroom,living room, on a train, in a get my drift.

Michelle Hix said...

Oh wow, I thought she was going to be history! My girls had the pukies earlier this year and I posted about how they can never seem to get one ounce of that puke in the toilet!

Amanda said...

Uh, gross. So glad to hear Cathy survived the onslaught of puke. Even more glad this whole thing took place at your house and not mine. Blech. :)

i-Mommy said...

Great story! My 4 year old is a doll person, too. At any given time there are baby dolls or stuffed animals in every room of the house and even the car.

Chatty Cathy would have scared the daylights out of me, talking like that in the middle of the night!

Kudos to you for the puke-clean-up. If I see or smell it, I usually end up doing it too. You should see me when my kids are sick.

The Apron Queen said...

My daughter used to have her favorite doll "Baby". One of those with the plastic head/arms/legs, but a cloth body. She left it in the yard one day & the dog ripped it to shreds. "Baby" parts all over the lawn."Baby" stuffing all over the lawn. I shooed her in the house before she noticed & made her big brother pick up all the body parts. I sewed the damn "Baby" back into one piece & bought her a new polka dot dress. The doll looked hideous, but my daughter didn't really care or notice. We called it "Frankenbaby" after that.

Confessions of an Apron Queen:

C. K. said...

Awww. I'm sure Chatty Cathy understands.

kcbryans04 said...

What a great story, I am passing it on to my Mom, who also had a tragic Chatty Cathy experience also. Her mother told her it was time to give her to me when I was a kiddo. A few weeks after my mother took Chatty from the safety of my Grandma's house and gave her to me, our house (and Cathy) burned down. Thanks be to eBay, my Mom has another one... who is better outfitted than me anyday :)!

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

Not only can she talk, she can feel. She knows.
That my friend is good writing! I am still laughing!

THopgood said...

We went through the same stomache bug about a month ago. Woke up to my 11 year old vomitting in the hallway. UGH!

On another note I think that's the same doll my mom just had restored. My dad made her a pexiglass case for it and she has it displayed in her front room.

Valarie said...

Poor Poor Chatty Cathy, I hope she is doing well today. We have been through an episode with collectable dolls. Go over and look at these post.


If anybody can tell me how to do a link in a comment please let me know.

Lisa J said...

So sorry for your little guy. Nothing worse than throwing up and your momma dreaming about food!!!! Can turn the stomach of even the strongest of young men. And just thinking about that smell....excuse I must run!

Baby Mamma (Tamra) said...

I can so relate to puke stories!
Um, Chatty Cathy isn't too accessorized in the photo! She must have been too worn out from all the action?

Suzie said...

Poor poor Cathy. She's lucky to have a mama like you. I gotta say though those dolls freak me out. Pretty creepy she appealed to your sympathies so you could not throw her out. Creepy.

Mary-Carolyn said...

I'm glad Chatty Cathy recovered! When I was small I had the misfortune to puke on one of my own dolls (while I was in the car, making for a pretty awful combination), and the poor girl never recovered. Her hair was permanently stiffened, and as I recall, she was soon thrown out as the smell of puke seemed to linger there as well. I'm glad Chatty Cathy didn't meet the same end!

Colleen said...

I love that story!

Sorry you had to clean up puke in the middle of the night, but happy to hear Cathy recovered. :O) Oh, and your son, too.

AmandaE said...

what a story! Poor doll! But what a prepared Mom- (Vomit Box) We have a vomit bowl- it stays stashed under my bed for such a night. AND when Madeleine got sick last week I had it on hand BEFORE the puke began- I was soooo proud of myself and her for hitting the bowl the 1st time. Its the first spewing that is always the worst- it gets less and less and the night goes on- ya know? UGh- are we sick or what talking about vomit so freely. :-)

Christine @ Serenity How? said...

How would we ever survive middle of the night barf incidents if we couldn't laugh (and blog) about it later LOL!

I'm so glad you were able to save the doll. If not, Vomit Boy would've had a much worse nickname from his sister I'm sure. :)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I assume "PREFECTLY POOPY" is a GOOD thing?

Yeah for me!!

Hallie :)

Robin said...

Laughing hysterically once again! Glad Cathy (and JA!) survived!

Happy Mommy said...

I love cupcakes! And we use a puke bucket. I also always carry a roll of paper towel and extra clothes and an old Walmart bag in the mini-van. It only takes one hot summer day with a car stinking of puke to teach you how to be prepared...

Rachel said...

Wonderful story telling! This is absolutely priceless.
I feel so sorry for all parties involved: Chatty Cathy, vomit Boy, Clueless Dad, stinky room Sis and most of all... cupcake interrupted dreamer, mom.
Too cute!

Shannon said...

lol ! i've got 3 kids so this brings back fond memories of nights just like yours . great blog !

Anonymous said...

Chatty is totally ready for college. Hope no one else gets the pukes.

DeAnna said...

Oh, I have so been there! The joys of motherhood know no bounds, do they?!

Auds at Spotted Dick said...

Oh you brave brave woman. You brave soul!

Being the emitephone (sp) I am, I would have RUN! Chatty Cathy (I had one, believe me I did) would have gone in the garbage bin and I would have made up some story about dolly-seeking aliens abducting her. Seriously, I would not have touched it.

But you courageous woman...not only did you clean her up, you gave her a lovely new do!

I wonder if they award medals of valor for this sort of thing...cuz mama, if they do, I'll nominate you!



Auds at Spotted Dick said...

I meant emititphobe.

But then, I never said I could spell. *lol*

Kimbrah said...

That made me laugh so hard! Thanks! I needed that today of all days! :)


Tonya said...

too funny!

val said...

OMGosh....your house could be MINE! I don't know why I find such hilarity in gross body humor or vomit of all things, but I do. I have to foward your blog to my warped sisters fact, my whole family.

Faerie Mom said...

I seriously find those dolls disturbing and frightening on so many levels. That said.... I am glad Ms Cathy is ok! I think anyone who is a mom has had to deal with the middle of the night puke fests! LOL Yuck

Mycrazylife said...

This is hilarious! And it's also one of those bombshell stories that you can share with your daughter at a ripe old age, when she grows up enough and finally acquires the ability to gasp and laugh simultaneously! Trust me, my twenty-one-year-old, has had her share of revelations and I always enjoy the reaction!

BrownEyedGirl-- said...

Ugh, that would probably make me throw up on Chatty Cathy (and then toss poor Chatty Cathy in the dumpster never to be smelt again). Hopefully I'll gain a stomach when I "gain" a kid. We'll see.

Tiff said...

will the truth ever be told to her. LOL! Poor guy! I'm glad he recovered!

Bahama Mama said...

You gave me a great laugh there :-) Very funny story. My daughter is a doll lover too and would be devastated if anything happened to her playmates. You sure Cathy's not whispering the truth when you aren't looking?

lori said...

I come here for one reason....

I leave so HAPPY!!!! said...

I totally thought you were leading into a voodoo doll story - I'm so freakin' morbid.

Although, the story does have a tinge of scary doll horror to it.

Chatty Cathy is loved!