When Blythe Hands You Lemons...

I did a stupid thing. Which isn't surprising. I do stupid things all day every day but right now? I feel even more idiotic than I usually do.

It happened last October, when a dear friend of mine bought a very generous gift for Fable's first birthday. A gift I tore open on Fable's behalf, discarding the pristine box in the nearest garbage bin completely unaware of the doll's worth and importance.

As I'm sure most of you know (because you're the smart ones in the relationship) Blythe dolls are collector's pieces of gorgeous awesomeness, not meant for mothers to give to their one-year-old daughters. Really, probably, not meant to be taken out of their boxes, but I didn't know that. I didn't realize how valuable and important she was until this past weekend, when Jenny told me so.

"Whoa! You have a Blythe doll?" she said.

"What do you mean, whoa?"

"They're just very expensive. Hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars expensive."

"Ha ha ha hahaha...Wait. Really?"

Everyone in the elevator nodded. I swallowed hard.

"Maybe this was a knock-off Target version!" I joked/hoped/really, really hoped.

I tried not to think about the doll until I came home - which was easy to do because of the so-much-whoa overwhelming-ness of the Summit.

But then? When I did come home to find Blythe face down in the toy box, her eye-changing cord ripped out of her head, purple-ribbon missing, pigtails eschew? I burst into tears.

And that was before I even started googling.

Which was a bad idea. Especially considering the fact that I had had an emotionally jarring couple of days and all bad things seemed VERY BAD very fast.

It didn't take long for me to realize that my amazing friend had scoured the Internet to find the doll she chose for Fable. That she was a rare doll meant to be kept as treasure, not as face-down-plaything. I spent the rest of the day more upset than I have been in a very long time. Angry at myself for being impulsive, for not thinking or knowing better. Wishing I was more like my friends who do. Who do their research and honor deadlines and know what schools to apply to, who make life lists and plans and set time aside for vacation. Friends who are so much more together than I.

Later that day, our garbage disposal broke thanks to an orange peel I stupidly put down the drain. And much like the story so often usually goes, Hal and our Landlord spent much of the evening on their knees trying to fix another one of my fuck-ups.

Because I don't think. I just do things and don't think.

"Once I accidentally sold my grandmother's priceless heirloom at a garage sale," my mom told me on the phone, trying to make me feel better as I sobbed on the other end of the line.

"It was a vase and I knew the moment I sold it that it was a mistake. That I had just sold something incredibly valuable and important ... but it was too late.

"So what did you do?"

"What could I do? I mourned. I let it go. I don't have garage sales anymore. It's just life, Rebecca. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we don't think..."

And that has always been my problem. I'm scattered and flaky and half-assed. I don't listen, easily distracted by the notes to self, obsessing over life and all the things I thought I could handle but can't - commitments and responsibilities, endeavors and projects and when will I ever learn to "just say no!" ... to myself.

And so? I trip myself myself over and over like a broken record, inadequate, overwhelmed, unable. Because I didn't have time today to edit the video and I promised to have the script finished by the end of last week and everyone's mad because I haven't blogged in two days and Archer wants me to play Connect Four with him and Fable wants me to read her Peek-a-Moo again and again and again but it's dinner time and I haven't even started boiling the water. Not to mention responded to a single email today. Listened to voice-mail. Called my sister back.

But it's on me because I thought I could do it all no problem. Because my ambition is bigger than my ability.

Meanwhile, my head spins with a million more to-dos and to-don'ts, phone vibrates with a dozen missed-calls, new messages, reminders, deadlines, until I've disappointed everyone and myself. Until I'm drowning in paperwork and fuck! I was supposed to print Archer's homework and I forgot.


I forget everything. Birthdays and names and phone numbers, even my own. I forget what I did yesterday. What I said when it was supposed to be important. What I wrote in the last sentence. I forget the day of the dinner, arriving at restaurants a week late. I RSVP to parties after they happen.

Because I cannot get my head out of my ass. Because I do without thinking. All day long.

Just like with this post which was supposed to be about a valuable doll made worthless because of my absent-minded ineptitude, and how I blew Fable's doll-collecting future. Ruined her special birthday gift.

Because dolls are worth nothing out of their boxes. Even less when they're broken. Which seems very sad. And backwards. And not really my style at all.

Boxes are overrated. So are symmetrical pigtails. And cords. And collector's editions.

Maybe, then, this post was never about the Blythe doll and how I ruined her. Maybe this post was always about me.

The broken doll as a reminder that I'm broken, too.

And that's okay.



mosey (kim) | 9:36 PM

John Lasseter, animation guru at Pixar, gave a talk I was at once where he spoke about all the priceless toys he has in his office, some vintage, rare, mint, some still in their boxes. And how he kept his sons from playing with them when they visited until he had a forehead clapping moment of "toys are meant to be played with" (or somesuch), and from then on his kids played with all the toys every time they visited their Dad.

Toy Story. Toys are meant to be played with. Maybe someday Fable will own another Blythe doll that will sit prettily on a shelf but in the meantime this one will be well-loved (and maybe broken!) as toys are meant to be. As we all are.

Pati | 9:48 PM

Wishing I had something really poignant to say to you...Just know this to shall pass. You are an awesome writer so who cares...your an artist and the when you put it in perspective all that other stuff doesn't matter. Really... your children will survive and dolls are material things.Mothers are human and we can't do everything perfect.Take a break from your Blog....we all will be here waiting and understand your plate is full.

Little Miss Moi | 9:48 PM

Rebecca. Sounds like you've been having the same kind of existential crisis i've been having over the past week. Anxiety attacks and all, in my case. I actually feel like your description of the Blythe Doll at the bottom of the toy box.

But screw the value and the collectorship of the doll that's been lost. At least it's been loved. There are many lovers and appreciators of things out there who think it's more important, more of a tribute to the maker and giver, to love and use something that to let it rot in a box.

Yours in inadequacy. Moi (mwah mwah)

Polly | 9:52 PM

things that are perfect really aren't all that interesting.

Anonymous | 9:55 PM

I feel the same way! Like, maybe if I just keep lists, make a schedule, STICK to that schedule life will run smoothly. As if I am the only factor in the situation, as if I can control everything.

We all go through it, maybe at different levels.

Chin up, doll.

Anonymous | 9:56 PM

Thanks for being so honest. I recently paid $55 for a parking ticket because I forgot to pay on time. And that is just a drop in a bucket. I have a theory, though, after reading your post, that as mamas of young children, we put our thoughts where they count. You may have unknowingly destroyed the worth of a valuable doll, but you were thinking about Fable's joy in playing with that doll. Point for you.


We're all broken, all with different pieces missing. None of us works very well. All we have to be--especially as parents--is "good enough." But "good enough" never feels like enough, especially when we can imagine so much more.

For what it's worth, I still think you kick ass.

Meagan | 10:09 PM

I know it's so easy to feel overwhelmed most of the time. I feel like that everyday. Feel like I can't possibly do all of the things I want to do, like my body can't keep up with my ambition. That's an easy way to feel bad about yourself. I just accept that I can't do everything, or be everything to everybody all at once, and try and do my best with what I can control. It sounds like a cliché, but it's true.

Sarah Mickulesku | 10:12 PM

Goddamnit I fucking LOVE you.

Kim | 10:20 PM

Dude dolls are meant to be played with. Your better self did the right thing. What kid wants to stare at a doll in a box?

Becca | 10:22 PM

Oh my god, this is EXACTLY how I'm feeling today! (And usually.) Totally made me feel better. You are beyond awesome.

Mel | 10:23 PM

I wouldn't feel too bad about the doll, and all the other stuff you listed, if I were you. You can't do everything right all the time.

Last year I searched the internet to find the same kind of Madame Alexander doll I was given on my first b-day (it was already a collectors item at that time)so I could give one to my daughter on her b-day. I finally found one on Ebay, and the woman selling it said that it was given to her when she was a child and that she never took it out of the box. She added that she was selling it before her two year old daughter "got into it." I never told her that I was buying it for my own daughter to get "into", play with, and cherish. I felt sad for the other little girl. So when I got the doll in the mail I quickly freed her from the ORIGINAL box (AKA Doll Prison) and THREW IT AWAY! :)

Armonia | 10:38 PM

The toy that is most valuable to me is the one that i played ,slept and dragged with me all my life.. ( even thru college) and now it sits inside my baby's crib ( its 35 years old) that stuffed bear is the most valuable toy or thing that I have and it is priceless to me...
Let your baby play with her doll, I think your friend just wanted to let you know how valuable you are to her ..


The Kitten and the Bear | 10:40 PM

Taking the doll out of the box was acting on you instinct. There is beauty in that. More beauty than the act of writing lists and analyzing every action :)

The Kitten and the Bear | 10:44 PM

Also, I might be having a 'boys look' but how do I subscribe to your blog? I can't find a button anywhere. Thanks!

Elena from Greece | 10:47 PM

well, Fable will always have this post to read, her mother's sensitivity and thoughts, which is much worhier than any doll..

besided, it's ok for life to be messy. Settled organised life can only happen if you stop wanting more and more from yourself. Which is bad for the kids anyway:)

Ray | 10:54 PM

Oh, Rebecca. You're being WAY TOO hard on yourself! I mean I can understand why you're so upset but everyone makes mistakes. And you're not at all broken! You're just, "human" and that's what makes us all "beautiful" in our own unique way (yeah, I know that was corny...I suck).

Like the first commenter wrote, "Toys are meant to be played with." And from the description of the toy it sounds like Fable really loved on that Blythe doll (it also sounds like the doll can be repaired). The doll collection for Fable doesn't have to be dead, "There's always Barbies" (unless you're not into Barbies). ;o)

Please don't be so hard on yourself. You're a great mother and as someone else wrote, "a great writer." And that's what truly counts.

You said you always forget things: why not write everything down in a notebook that you take along with you everywhere?

<3 <3 <3

P.S. I love that, "Wizard of Oz" painting there! Where'd you get it from?

*~(boom)~* | 10:55 PM

When I was a kid, I did not understand value or money or rarity. But, I understood playing.

Dolls were meant to be played with, and loved. Kids love the things they love HARD, and it sounds like Fable has enjoyed Blythe... :)

Where is the harm in that? If that doll made her smile even once, it's priceless.

You are NOT a fuck up.

Ray | 11:07 PM

OMG: I'm right now looking at Blythe.com's new dolls section and I found Fable's doll: http://www.thisisblythe.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=6941&category_id=125 ! Right now it's out of stock though.

Linda | 11:08 PM

I bought a Blythe doll for my granddaughter about 3 years ago. I promised to give it to her on her
5th birthday this coming August. I have "coveted" that doll, and have spent 100's of dollars on clothes for Blythe (OMG she even has pink motorcycle boots)
The "idea" of that doll has been mine. I know that. When Ella has played with her for a couple of weeks, I know that she will probably have her face covered in making pens, used for make-up. I WANT her to play with Blythe. Once I give it to her, it is hers.
I've held that doll for 3 years with love and grandmotherly intentions. She will be a gift. A gift to be played with and loved and maybe mis-handled. And I want to watch that happen...

Rebecca @ Playground Confidential | 11:10 PM

I was just thinking about how I spent way too much on take out because I couldn't get it together to make dinner and missed putting the garbage out and etc, etc. Then I read this post and I feel much better. Thank you. Real life doesn't happen inside a box.

Meemo | 11:19 PM

So we're not alone. I think this post describes my life. It's funny how motherhood will do that to ya.

Hey, the doll looks like you.

Andrea | 1:23 AM

love, love, LOVE this post...and I can SO relate to everything you just put into words so beautifully...as always...you rock :)

Desiree | 1:30 AM

"Because my ambition is bigger than my ability."

I feel like this a LOT. Like I have so many great things I want to accomplish, but somehow time evades me and I come crashing down with the pieces all around me.

You're not alone in this one!

Linda Wood | 3:06 AM

Agreeing with previous comments. Toys are worthless if they bring no joy. Blythe may be damaged, but that is the price of the joy she has given, the value of love.

Re the TO DO list. Someone once said to me that to be a working mum you just have to really LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. I thought that was really good, but really hard advice.

Still working on it. That's why I'm not a star yet. ;D


Danny | 3:54 AM

We are the way we are. That might sound stupid, but it is true.
And to everything there is an upside and a downside.

I like your spontaneity and your heads on approach. Right now you are very much aware of the downside of that, but try not to overlook the good side of that.
I’m a worry wart, and let me assure you: that is not nice trait to have. Not for yourself, nor for others.
My kids aren’t allowed this, because OOOH, who knows what could happen?! No jumping in the sofa, not allowed to play to rough,… sometimes I should let them be a kid a little more. This weekend my oldest (who is not six yet!) is going away with the scouts. For a sleepover. I am going bananas over it. All the things that could happen! If it weren’t for my husband, I would not have allowed him to go. I wish I was a little more like you: just do things and see how they turn out afterwards.
Because in 99% of all cases it turns out good. And it’s normal to feel a little blue when you are confronted with that 1%
But always considering the consequences and exploring all options is a tiresome way of living. Trust me, I know.

How were you to know it was a valuable doll? You can’t google every single thing people give you because it might have value instead of be played with. I also like what the people here in your comments said: just let her play with it. She’ll have much more fun that way.

And for the emails and voicemails you ‘need’ to answer… if you are in a place where you don’t feel so good you must first look after yourself. People understand this, and no one will love you any less over it. If people don’t understand that sometimes you don’t want to post, well.. that is their problem, not yours.
Take care of yourself, spoil yourself. You will feel better soon.

Fairly Odd Mother | 3:57 AM

Think of all those Beanie Babies in those plastic boxes that were "worth something". Let her play with the doll. And think of how badass you seem when someone gasps "BUT, that is a rare Blythe!" and you say, "yeah, she went swimming in the sink this morning".

You seem like such a good friend to people, don't beat yourself up too much.

And, you know, your garbage disposal was going to die anyway if it choked on an orange rind. You are supposed to dump the rind of a lemon down there to clean it, so I think that sucker was toast regardless of what you did. (fellow garbage disposal killer here too),

A Serious Girl | 4:37 AM

The good news is that you can decide to fix this part of yourself. And that's okay too.

Your post described me, who I've always been, all my life. My stomach twisted as I read and remembered. But in the last six months I've started keeping a calendar and suddenly I show up on time, I read the instructions, and I send birthday cards before birthdays. I never thought I could be that girl, never wanted to be that girl. But that girl's life is a thousand times less complicated and she has a thousand less reasons to feel bad for fucking up.

Cheers to the journey of life, self-discovery, self- acceptance, moving on and changing our ways.

Erin | 4:45 AM

Ugh, you described perfectly how I feel about myself lately.
And what is a doll what can't be played with? A very sad, lonely, toy.

Natalie | 4:58 AM

I like the comment that real life doesn't happen inside a box.

I often wonder in reading blogs if people's lives are ACTUALLY like they write them out to be. I wonder where all the real people are. I wonder where other people like me are.

I'm not trying to minimize your anxiety...or trying to placate you...but please know that it is refreshing to hear someone else admit that you don't always have your shit together....or, in fact...seldom to have your shit together.

My name is Natalie...and I think we belong to the same club!

Tanya | 5:16 AM

I've never, ever heard of a Blythe doll. But then I just had a baby girl three months ago and I'm not up on the latest girly things quite yet. I agree with mumologic, you were thinking of your daughter's joy in playing with the doll. That's the stuff that really counts. I feel the exact same way about myself - doing every thing half-assed, I can never seem to get it together. I have a two year old and a three month old and I feel as though it's a good day if we are all out of our pajamas by the time my husband gets home from work. Some day, I'll get it together. In the meanwhile, I get a lot of inspiration from reading blogs like yours and a couple of other moms. Thank you for being honest and real. It's refreshing to read a mom who's genuine and telling it like it really is. Thank you!

Unknown | 5:18 AM

Screw the worth of the doll. Just think of the dolls worth to Fable. If she plays with it and it brings her joy, isn't that worth more than the price tag on any toy? I think so!

Sarah | 5:24 AM

Rebecca, All of these faults you've listed are strengths that I've taken from reading your work. You inspire me to live and enjoy life in the moment. I know that you probably aren't able to achieve that all the time, but in your writing you do and it seems that you aspire to this, and that in my book is far more valuable than knowing what school to apply to and holding on to and revering a material object. Fable has played with this toy, and loved it, and maybe she's too little to remember, but really, what fun is a doll you look at in a box? And I know your friend meant well and the gift was given with love and adoration of Fable, but how much more valuable would it have been if your friend had made a donation on Fable's behalf and you knew that another child got to thrive because of your own?

You march to your own tunes, and that's why you don't make lists and that's why you didn't know what schools to apply to. I was the same way, and spent years feeling inadequate and not enough, but I am adequate, and more than enough, and so are you, and the fact that you are all of the things you've listed as not enough makes you the incredible woman that you are, and if you took a poll of those that loved you best, I bet that although they sometimes get frustrated with you, ultimately these are qualities about you they adore.

Ida Mae | 5:31 AM

I am new at this whole Motherhood thing, but your post generally summarizes how I have felt most my life. No words of wisdom, just a "hey you are not alone!" The only thing I have learned to do is love myself for my faults, or at least try to!

Just like Fable loves her doll ;-)

My Bottle's Up! | 5:34 AM

i had no idea what a blythe doll was until this post. i wasn't a doll kid of chickie when i was a wee one. so i have never understood the whole "american girl" (i think that's what they're called) thing, let alone something like this.

don't beat yourself up about it. you're human and so is fable. she has plenty of time ahead of her to break all kinds of shit. :)

Samantha | 5:55 AM

God. It was like I was reading a page out of my own journal (minus the kid thing). I too am scatter-brained and forgetful and I call myself a fuck-up way too often because sometimes I JUST CAN'T FOCUS.

This was a great entry. So great, in fact, that I forgot that I still have to pack a lunch and get dressed so I can leave the house in 5 minutes. Woopsie.

Thilie | 5:55 AM

The box is in the trash and she plays with the doll.. forget about it!
How cool is that your baby girl plays with a Blythe doll?? and she even have the big green eyes like yours..
Now I want one for me and one for my baby girl so we can play together!
It`s just a doll, chill out..

AND don`t forget your coffee girl! Or green tea.. all you need is some caffeine and you will be alright!
take care :)

Thilie | 5:56 AM

The box is in the trash and she plays with the doll.. forget about it!
How cool is that your baby girl plays with a Blythe doll?? and she even have the big green eyes like yours..
Now I want one for me and one for my baby girl so we can play together!
It`s just a doll, chill out..

AND don`t forget your coffee girl! Or green tea.. all you need is some caffeine and you will be alright!
take care :)

Thilie | 5:56 AM

The box is in the trash and she plays with the doll.. forget about it!
How cool is that your baby girl plays with a Blythe doll?? and she even have the big green eyes like yours..
Now I want one for me and one for my baby girl so we can play together!
It`s just a doll, chill out..

AND don`t forget your coffee girl! Or green tea.. all you need is some caffeine and you will be alright!
take care :)

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 5:59 AM

Me, too.

I also had no idea about Blythe dolls.

But also... it's a doll. What a better life she has if she gets to be played with!!!


Mama Cas | 6:38 AM

Welcome to the club....the "My Head Is Firmly Planted In My Ass" club. Please, please don't beat yourself up about it. Some mommies are "perfect" and most of us aren't. Just remember that perfection is highly overrated.

Anonymous | 6:45 AM

Rebecca, you continue to write things that make me feel like you are writing the story of my life. If I had a PENNY for every time I have just completely and utterly fucked up I'd be the wealthiest woman in the world. None of us can every be perfect but I hate the feeling I sometimes have that life gets in the way of me being the best version of me possible feeling? Does that even make sense? I obsess and analyze and make things worse.

I get you. I totally do - I'm your sister in imperfection.

Allyssa W-R | 7:03 AM

If it makes you feel better, I've never heard of a Blythe doll. I think your generous friend should have explained the doll's value upon delivery. They are cute as can be though. Makes me want a girl baby. :-)

hugnkiss | 7:12 AM

Woman, you are awesome. I love your blog for many reasons, but most of all its your passion towards life and love and fun and your kids. I think that the reason you take all of this to heart (even a doll) is because you value and love your work and family so much, the idea you have done them wrong feels horrible.

You havent done them wrong and you arent broken. You are doing so much. And maybe, perhaps too much, but when you love it, it just happens that way sometimes.

And please know you arent the only one, you just have the courage to talk about it!

Sara | 7:13 AM

Thank you thank you thank you. I really needed to see this today because my whole week has been just that- feeling like I'm being pulled in eighty different directions and totally unable to measure up to even one of the demands.

messyfunmommylife | 7:14 AM

I put orange peels down the drain on a regular basis. I didn't know I shouldn't which makes sense as my sink has been making awkward noises.

I lose invitations and never RSVP and call the host to let them know I am on my way.

I threw away a doll my great great grandmother made me handmade. It was taking up space and kind of raggedy.

I throw things away and realize they were papers that were due the next day. I create last min powerpoints at 1 am because I completely forgot.

We don't always have time to think before we do. We all make mistakes. We all let them ring in our heads over and over again like hitting ourselves with a hammer.

You work very hard. You are a good mother and a good wife. The other stuff doesn't matter :)

PunditMom | 7:26 AM

Dolls are for playing with and I'm glad Blythe is being loved. We bought a couple of "collector" Chinese Barbie dolls for PunditGirl when she was a baby -- kept them in the box, pristine except for the dust on the lid. Oddly, at age 10, she is having a resurgent interest in Barbies and Polly Pockets and wanted to know if she could play with them. I hesitated, and then said, why not. She's happy playing with them and they are, after all, toys.

It was so good to see you at Mom 2.0 --and you give great hugs, BTW :)

Unknown | 7:31 AM

we're all fuck ups. the ones who can admit it are way ahead of game than the ones who can't.

Tawny | 7:34 AM

No one is perfect - NO ONE. Imperfection makes the world a more interesting place to live.

: )

Anonymous | 7:35 AM


God I adore you.

You are just the kind of "broken" that makes me think "fixed" would suck.


Jen | 7:38 AM

If it makes you feel better (and I know that it won't because no words could possibly make you feel better) my mom and grandma saved a bunch of dolls in their boxes for me. Now that I'm having a daughter (in about 3 weeks, or whenever Stubborn Girl decides to show up), they sent them to me in these big boxes. I opened them and they totally creep me out with their dead eyes and perfectly perfect hair. I put them in my basement and I'll send them to my daughter some day and they'll creep her out, too. The Barbie dolls that I destroyed - the ones that dated He-Man because I didn't have a Ken doll and my brother had a He-Man - those are the dolls that I love, even though they don't exist anymore. I remember trying to jam He-Man's (obviously chemically enhanced) legs into that Barbie Dream Car so he can Barbie could go out for dinner and a movie. Now, those were good times. Those are the days that Fable will remember.

1 | 7:39 AM

You "just do" without thinking because you are very, very busy. You're running around trying to be a great mother, wife, blogger, etc, etc. You're upset about it because you care. It's never wrong to care and if you didn't care you would have a very relaxed "no one matters but me" life. You don't have that and that's great!

foodiemama | 7:41 AM

ah man, you are hardly any of those things you say... in my opinion, you are pretty dern awesome! Those Blythe dolls are something awesome but seriously, what is something really worth if it sits on a shelf collecting dust in a paper box? not much! having that little girl of yours ooohh and ahhh, play and imagine with the doll is far more precious then another piece of stuff hanging out on the wall untouchable... but as you can see I don't understand dolls that can't be touched, haha. chin up lady friend!

Anonymous | 7:44 AM

I think you are making mountains out of mole hills here. This doll is no different than the very expensive American girl doll series and it is made to be played with. If this doll was only to be put on a shelf and never touched then the person who gave her to you would have said that this was a very special doll for Fable to keep for investment purposes only. I am a serious doll collector and believe me when I give a doll to someone who has just had a baby, I am explicit in the fact that this is not to be a toy. Having said this, once a gift is given, you no longer have control over what someone does with said gift. Fable loved the doll and that is wonderful. I think your friend looked at the Blythe dolls and thought that they embodied everything about your style. Being a fashion doll, these dolls really speak to a specialty market that not everyone will appreciate. This is why I am not surprised you didn't know what kind of doll you were receiving. This is not by any means a main stream doll. Stop beating yourself up and let Fable love that doll. She will have such great memories to carry for the rest of her life.
Becky K

Boston Mamas | 7:51 AM

{Sending hugs}

I know it's hard not to be hard on yourself (that's my m.o.), but it isn't unreasonable to think that a gifted doll is, in fact, to be played with. I think your mom's advice about letting go is totally on target.

xo Christine

Caitlin M Ferrell | 7:51 AM

It's OK! We all have bad days, weeks. You don't have to blog everyday! Just breathe...

bridgette | 7:51 AM

I have never posted before, but I read your blog daily. Actually your book helped me get through the "my life it over" breakdown I had after my daughter was born.

Please don't stress about this. Dolls are meant to be played with just as Dolce & Gabbana is meant to be worn and not kept in the closet.

I ♥ You | 7:53 AM

If that doll brought moments of happiness to your daughter while playing with it, isn't that worth more than anything you could re-sell that doll for?

one day this will be an awesome story to tell that will make you cry with laughter - not regret for opening the box.

ps- that doll has a crazy "chuckie" thing going on in her eyes, no?

Loran | 8:07 AM

You have beautifully described the universal experience of making a mistake and feeling like shit about it. Been there, done it, don't like it. But, it offers an opportunity to practice loving kindness towards oneself. We all make mistakes. The trick is not to sink into the abyss of beating oneself into a bloody pulp.

For the record, I have never heard of a Blythe doll and would have taken it out of the box to play with too.

Loran | 8:08 AM

You have beautifully described the universal experience of making a mistake and feeling like shit about it. Been there, done it, don't like it. But, it offers an opportunity to practice loving kindness towards oneself. We all make mistakes. The trick is not to sink into the abyss of beating oneself into a bloody pulp.

For the record, I have never heard of a Blythe doll and would have taken it out of the box to play with too.

lonek8 | 8:19 AM

this could be written about me. while I have never inadvertently ruined something valuable through my inattention(to my knowledge), I feel like my "do without thinking" way of sleepwalking through life is cheating me of true experiences. I'm missing out on living because I'm coasting on autopilot. but I don't think tha tmeans we're broken. Maybe still just in rough draft form and in need of a little jumpstart.

Unknown | 8:27 AM

I have to agree with other commenters, toys are meant to play with. I LOVE Blythe dolls, I have some myself. I only hope I'll have a little girl that will want to play with them someday :)

Rayna | 8:47 AM

This post put into words everything I have been feeling for awhile (specifically the last two weeks.) Right now I'm busy trying to get estimate to fix a leaky window frame, all the while kicking myself because I knew it was leaking awhile ago, but I didn't think it was that bad. Now we may have to replace not just the window frame, but also the drywall and the siding on the house because it may all be rotted out and ant infested. Gah.

If I had just taken care of it when we first moved in and I noticed it the damage may not have been so bad.

I feel you.

Anonymous | 8:52 AM

I think you are MUCH too hard on yourself. You are not perfect. No one else is, either.

Please turn off that negative self talk on you and what you do.

You are an INCREDIBLE writer, and I read a lot. You are so gifted, honest, can string words together like the most beautiful necklace.

You are spontaneous, live in the moment, and really REALLY get what life is about. Your writing has inspired me to the point of tears so.very.many.times.

I read your book in ONE sitting, b/c I couldn't put it down.

No, you don't do everything right, but you sure do a hell of a job on the other stuff. You rock as a mother, as a wife, as a writer, as a modern hi tech mama.

You, Rebecca, have got it goin' on. So, cut your self some HUGE slack, see how awesome you are...and let the perfectionists take care of what they do best.

You, in the meantime, just rock those pages, b/c THAT is what you do. If you were without error, what would there be to write about? Right. Nothing.

Everything good in your life has been through something unforseen.


abbiejoy | 9:05 AM

Sigh. Sometimes getting through the day is hard. Be kind to yourself. From here you seem oh-so-put together.


TexasBobbi | 9:23 AM

The friend who gave it to Fable would be glad that she has loved her more then stared at her unable to truly love on her and form a bond with her doll. If everyone held on to everything instead of opening and having joy it would be a boring world.

Sarah | 9:26 AM

I'm really unsure if this is the right kind of thing to say...there's always the delete key, I guess.

My mom makes quilts. Beautiful things she makes almost entirely by hand. She picks out hundreds (thousand?) of scraps and puts them together and gives them as gifts, mostly to the new babies of her friends. And nearly every mom who received the quilt oohs and ahhs and swears they will keep it beautiful forever. To that, my mom says "I hope not. I want to your baby use this until it's in tatters. Play on it, drag it on the sidewalk on your walk to the park, sleep with it, spill juice on it, use it to wrap up your toys, built a fort with it..." Nobody ever loved a quilt stored in the closet, but everybody loves - LOVES - their blankies.

I think the same holds true for a doll. (I had a Madame Alexander doll that I loved and moved, and dressed and redressed and whose hair I mussed.) I loved that doll...much to a collector's horror, probably...but when I remember how much I played with her, I smile.

I know you feel badly now, but I hope maybe a little of this feeling, the idea that "It's okay to use our things, to love them so much that their eyeballs pop out!" seeps into your soul sooner rather than later.


Meghan Elaine | 9:29 AM

Me too.

abi | 9:32 AM

When my god-daughter was born, I was so excited that I went out and bought her an expensive name brand baby doll with a whole bunch of accessories-blankies, outfits, bottles, binkies, and a trunk to store them all in (no really, an actual trunk... overboard much?).
I gave her the doll for her first Christmas, and her mom decided that it was too valuable for her to play with. I didn't say anything, but it made me sad. I bought the doll for her to play with and enjoy, and her mom's decision kept that joy from her.
If you are any indication of who your friends are, I'm sure that Blythe was given with similar intentions. Don't beat yourself up, and don't become someone who values clean over fun. I'm sure there's some middle ground there, but I certainly haven't found it. : )
Also, if you need to take a blogging break, please do so. This needs to be fun for you too. Hang in there! Abi

Stefanie | 9:39 AM

Don't worry honey - we are all broken, we all do without thinking first, and I know that I am behind much like you described. I saw myself as I read your post, and how I haven't posted on my own blog in a week, the laundry in the wash has been sitting there for 5 days, and how I never spend enough time with my kids. Remember what is urgent and what is important and toss the rest - you are a wonderful person, and while I think it is positive to realize your own faults, I don't want for you to dwell in them. That can be fairly depressing and slow your world even faster. Hope the day gets better.

soccermom | 10:19 AM

I have never heard of these dolls either, of course my daughter is now 20. But I have to say honestly what good is a doll if you cant play with it? Wouldn't you want you daughter to look back on life and remember playing with her doll, not remembering that she got to stair at it in a box?

Amber | 10:28 AM

don't be so hard on yourself. no one is perfect. i act before i think on a regular basis and my husband always ask me what was I thinking!?!? can't you see, I wasn't thinking at all. You are a great mom. Don't get down. One step at a time. You can conquer all :)

Issa | 10:58 AM

We're all broken Bec. Promise you. We are all broken in some ways. It's what makes us human. It makes us who we are. It shows us we are different, yet the same, from the person standing next to us. Individuals. Amazing people, with parts of broken-ness in us. Some you can see, some...is way hidden. But we all have it.

Dolls are meant to be played with. I'd bet that your friend meant for Fable to enjoy that doll. You give children toys, because you want them to enjoy it.

My mom made ceramic dolls for a few years, around the time I was Archers age. So beautiful that the Smithsonian wanted them. (They wanted more than she had time to make though, so she declined.) She sold most of them and kept a few for me. They are amazing dolls, one of a kind, truly. However, I always played with them. I broke one once and was so freaking sad. Dropped it outside on the concrete near our pool and it shattered. I wanted to stop playing with them, but she wouldn't let me. She told me that people are what is important, not possessions. Now my girls play with them. Do I hope I can pass them onto my grandchildren? Yes. But if I can't it's okay.

vanessathomson@shaw.ca | 11:02 AM

I had to double check that you had signed the bottom of this post...I thought for sure I would find that I had written this post. But when? In the middle of the night while I was sleep-feeding my son?

I too take on more than I can chew (or even fit on a plate)& when I don't complete it all I am so mean to myself (inside my head), or when I don't meet the supermom image or even when I give myself a break...

Too many women are "broken" where we beat ourselves up & put huge expectations on ourselves or become consumed ith guilt.

Rebecca reading your posts make me feel like I am not alone...you are not alone either!


You guys are amazing and awesome and thank you.

Broken is a good thing. It means we are alive. This whole silly experience was a great reminder of that.

And now I feel much better. :)

I love you all. Truly. I'm the luckiest girl on the face to have you in my corner and my comments box. xo

Unknown | 11:14 AM

Rebecca, we love you because you are the mom who would knowingly let her daughter play with a Blythe doll -- and would cheer her on doing it. It would inspire us to do the same - We love you because you really think about these stupid institutions/rules and you question them - And we are doing the same- We are a new generation of moms who are saying - "to hell with keeping dolls in boxes. That is so 1980."

Id be way madder at myself for putting the orange peel down the sink.

I appreciate your words about your body not being able to keep up with your ambition. I feel that myself everyday. I appreciate you opening up that discussion so that I can read that so many other moms feel the same way. This community of moms on your blog is so important to me. Makes us all feel that we are normal - it is all apart of being a woman and mom today.

Dawn | 11:17 AM

We're all broken in some way or another. It's what makes us human. And toys should be played with.

mommica | 11:37 AM

Dude, not to blame everything on hormones, but it's the Mirena removal. I'm telling you - SAME BOAT. On top of all the roller coaster-ing emotions I'm having due to everyday life, my doctor just called me and confirmed that my daughter has a peanut allergy. My life is over.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom | 11:42 AM

I completely understand what you are saying. But: At least she played with a valuable TOY, not a first edition or a priceless statue. At some point, I like to think someone somewhere remembered that dolls are supposed to be enjoyed, not observed. So there. Kudos for you for bucking the collector mentality. Stamps, dolls, old records--for God's sake, people, just USE THEM.

Lindsay | 11:44 AM

Rebecca, I am just as hard on myself as you are so I get it, I really do. But it doesn't help anyone (especially you) or change anything to continue to beat yourself up. Also, I wouldn't have known that doll was valuable either. And even if I had my daughter probably would have whined so much to play with it that I would have let her!

Bonnie | 12:19 PM

I think that MOST mothers in the world need to know that MOST mothers often feel like you described - like everyone else has their shit together and we're trying our hardest every day to pretend that we're perfect.

It's our job as mothers to feel guilty and as though we've failed our children. Archer and Fable know that you love tham and really, that's all that matters. I know how you feel about feeling like a failure though - and you're NOT!

Bonnie | 12:20 PM

...and to be honest, I had never heard of a Blythe doll before today. ;)

Sonja von Franck | 12:49 PM

I'm with Bonnie - I've never heard of or seen a Blythe doll. And I've got a two year old and an eight month old - so it's not like I'm "out of the loop" per se.

I've thought about this post throughout the day. Not to displace blame, but it would have really have been nice if your friend had told you. "Hey, this doll? She's kindof a big deal..." Just to make sure you knew. My Mom's done that for me for all her jewelry and cut crystal vases, etc.

It also reminds me of the time I was in high school and my boyfriend told me he had planned a special date. So when someone offered me Charlotte Hornett NBA basketball tickets (see? just in case you didn't know who The Hornets were!)I said, "oh no! we can't go! Chris has something SPECIAL planned tonight..." As we set off on a date that really didn't end up being that special, the movies or something where we were just excited to be alone, and he was probably planning on trying some SPECIAL move on me, I casually mentioned, "Mom wanted to know if we wanted to go see the Hornets play tonight but I told her you had something special planned..." I might as well have dropped a bowling ball on his head. "SONJA!!!!! YOU TOLD HER WHAT!!??!! MICHAEL JORDAN IS PLAYING!!" I was so confused, "what do you mean? Michael Jordan doesn't play for the Hornets. He plays for...the Bulls..." To which he replied, "YES!!! BUT THE HORNETS ARE PLAYING THE BULLS TONIGHT AND MICHAEL JORDAN IS RETIRING AND THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN MY ONE CHANCE TO SEE HIM PLAY IN PERSON!!!!!!!"

Woulda, shoulda, coulda - Fable will get more value out of playing with the doll than she ever would with the money she might possibly make if she sold it. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're an awesome Mom and these posts/essays are an incredible gift to be able to pass on to your children. Way better than some doll that just reminds me of Gywneth Paltrow's mother. ;-)

Meagan | 12:53 PM

Oh man. This post was really important for me to read. I thought I was the only one? Thank you.

renee | 1:01 PM

Dolls are worth nothing if no one plays with them. There's no such thing as an object of value.

Amy | 1:03 PM

I truly admire how you can not only admit to your flaws, but take responsiblity for them and own them. Most people cannot take any sort of criticism from other people or themselves.

I honestly have never heard of these types of dolls either and wouldn't have known any better! At least you found out now and you feel badly about it. I know too many people who would have just turned around and said "Well, you shouldn't have given a 1 year old a gift like that" instead of feeling badly about not knowing. Most would just place the blame on the person for giving a thoughtful gift. You have honored the thought behind the gift and feel badly about not knowing. I completely commend you for realizing the love, thought and time that went into the doll.

I would just look on eBay to replace any parts that are missing/damaged. It's easier said than done, but you have to forgive yourself. You've admitted your mistake, now it's time to move on.

You're amazing!

bluejeanamy | 1:13 PM

pretty much my constant inner monologue!

had my first bebe 3 weeks ago and i'm totally overwhelmed with all the thank you notes i owe and phone calls and emails i have to return and and and aaaaand.

PLUS i'm feeling totally shamefaced after receiving so many gifts from lovely people i NEVER sent gifts to. how are they so pulled together and thoughtful??

JodiG | 1:22 PM

Does anyone else think that an expensive doll, not meant to be played but given to a child is sort of cruel? My first instinct as a Mom, who has a playful daughter, would be to tear open the box and play with it. Just like life, tear it open, play with it, enjoy it! Funny, when I read your blog (as I do daily- love it), I think about how lively and interesting you are!

HM | 1:24 PM

This post makes me think of my vintage box set of the Chronicles of Narnia. Shrink wrapped and kept on the highest shelf in a closet, maybe they'd be worth almost as much as Fable's doll... But I remember how carefully my brother dog-eared the pages after he read me a few chapters a night, and that's worth so much more than whatever money I might have sold them for. I can't wait to be able to pull them one at a time out of their box and hold the pages together while I read the stories to my son.
Keep Blythe safe once Fable has stopped playing with her. Later, Blythe may represent a whole host of wonderful things... And Fable may want to pass that on to her daughter.
What a wonderful gift you have given her by opening the doll. :)

Rebecca | 1:32 PM

She is a beautiful doll that was given to a beautiful girl. Beautiful girls play with beautiful dolls.........Anything else is just wrong.

Cara | 1:51 PM

Go read that book and play Connect Four - ordering take out for dinner won't hurt anyone and the work will be there tomorrow. And it will all look better after a night of rest. We've ALL been there, more than once. You're no more scattered than the rest of us, just more honest about it.

francis | 1:57 PM

I am going through my grandmother's house and have a hard time tossing anything because it is very possible it is important in some way. I found out that a book I donated had hand written notes in the margins from the author (eek!) Thankfully the place we donated it to is very nice and gave it back. Still makes me question everything else. Now I know why she had so much crap!

Sara | 2:00 PM

I agree with everyone else. She had fun playing with it. That's all that matters. : )

LiciaLee | 2:04 PM

If it means anything I went to the blythe doll website and think they are all kind of creepy looking. but thats just me. I collected dolls as a child, and I HATED that some my mom would never let me take out of the box and play with. And they are still there.. in their boxes in my mother's attic. Seems kinda useless to me. GL

mom2nji | 2:06 PM

I despise toys that are for collecting, toys are meant to be played with.

But since this post wasn't about the doll, I will tell you in five years, your kids will be in school. You will have time to think and organize a bit more. In 17 years, your kids will be in college and you will have nothing but time and energy to plan and organize.

This time in your life? Is meant for a bit of chaos. It's meant for fun. You are the way you are supposed to be right now.

Rachel | 2:47 PM

I'm sorry if this is a repeat comment, but what sort of (fucked up)garbage disposal breaks on an orange peel? Um, isn't that what it is for?

Julie | 2:52 PM

That doll looks exactly like you!

Amy Thomson | 3:13 PM

You know, I have never really understood toys that you can't play with.
When I fell pregnant, my husband and I set out to buy the most fabulous teddy bear, it was his idea. Off to the super-special teddy store we went, only to find teddy's that were THOUSANDS of dollars.
We walked out of that shop with mouths open wide...our baby wouldn't even be able to PLAY with the teddy, so what was the point?
My point here is, how else were you suppoed to know that she shouldn't play with the doll? It just makes perfect sense! Doll=play.
And I know what you mean about letting eveyine down, including yourself... I'm there at the moment and I don't even have children! (We are working on that though).
Chin up, keep smiling, keep being super cool you.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 3:26 PM

A toy, for a child, isn't really a toy if you can't play with it. I have some "designer toys" that I used as display pieces. Alexa loves to nom on them now. While I didn't keep them in their boxes, I did save the packaging. I'm not a collector by any means, but I just didn't think I would ever have a baby to play with them.

Now I have a daughter that thinks this hard vinyl dolls are just peachy. I'm sure she'll ruin them. And ya know what..that's ok. Perfect things are boring.

You're not perfect, but you're perfectly you.

jessica | 3:52 PM

i handed out the scholastic flyers and forgot to set up online ordering. again.
i remembered to make a notice for the parents informing them of jane's pizza party, no need to bring lunch to school on Thursday, Feb. 23rd .there's no such date. it's feb. 25th.
a dad once asked where i lived so i told him 172nd street. ummm, i live on 175th.
i don't know why i can't remember my own name. my new excuse is traumatic childhood. i've decided that my brain has gotten so used to blocking stuff out that i now block out things like deadlines and meetings.
oh forgot to go to parent teacher night? traumatic childhood!! not my fault!!

Jessica Gottlieb | 5:14 PM

In first grade I made a diorama with a madame Alexander box.

Some of the moms freaked out that I'd ruined something so valuable. My mom thought the diorama was pretty awesome.

You know my mom and I both adore you... collectibles aren't particularly useful.

Margo | 6:33 PM

I feel the same way. Its been a poopy....month.

My favorite doll / most prized possession as a child was covered in ball point pen(I had tried to draw hair on the poor bald baby)missing one eye, and the other eye pointed towards her nose. She was like my sister, and I definitely couldn't have experienced anything with her in a box. Granted my mom probably got her at the goodwill to begin with, but really from Fable's perspective I think you made her day when you opened the box and this doll could end up holding some precocious memories more valuable than a collectible.

Feel better.

Anonymous | 6:47 PM

Oh, we all have a "I can't believe I sold X at a garage sale" story, don't we?! PS Don't stress. Just think about all the memories Fable will make with the doll, which she will cherish much more than a doll in a box that she never got to play with!!!!

Maggie | 7:42 PM

Just as so many other bright, patient, and imperfect women have said... The dollar amount that the Blythe doll may be 'worth' DOES NOT equal it's worth in your family. Perhaps Fable would have understood the monetary value of the doll by 15, but at that point she would just be looking at an old doll through a yellowed and tired looking box. She would not have the memories or the undefined sense of what it was to 'care' for that doll. (Even though at this point 'caring for' Blythe means suffocating her in a toy chest.) More importantly, it sounds like you are being remarkably critical of yourself, which of course we all do when we feel completely buried by our inadequacies, but Rebecca, it is time to call and girlfriend and let her brag on you for a little bit - because don't we all just love it when our girlfriends tell us how proud they are of us? YOUR worth is so much more than any silly old Blythe doll!

Oh, and until this post, I had NEVER heard of a Blythe doll either!

Mar | 8:01 PM

Just think..."and this too shall pass". It will all be better tomorrow, it always is...promise

Asha Dornfest {Parent Hacks} | 9:03 PM

In the short time I've known you, Rebecca, even I can tell that if you had a perfect memory and did things only after the appropriate application of rational thought, you wouldn't have had half the adventures you have, or be the amazing writer and soul you are.

BOSSY | 9:19 PM

Awwwww, honey, you're not broken. Just human. Thank gah.

Sara B | 9:42 PM

Love Mel's response:
"So when I got the doll in the mail I quickly freed her from the ORIGINAL box (AKA Doll Prison) and THREW IT AWAY! :)"
When we were kids my aunt gave us her Chatty Cathy doll, with all the original clothes, and a working sound box. We played with that doll sooo much, the only thing we weren't allowed do was give it a bath. Years later we saw a Chatty Cathy in an antique store being sold for many dollars, but my sister and I told mom we were still happier we got to play with her. Dolls do not belong in Doll Prisons!
And you are a wonderful, beautiful, imperfect human who bajillions of ladies love and identify with. :)

Chantelle {fat mum slim} | 1:30 AM

I happen to think broken is beautiful. xx

Anonymous | 6:02 AM

Wow I feel like that everyday....

WarsawMommy | 7:05 AM

God, I am so with you... I often walk around my life feeling like I just don't think, screw it up, can't get myself together, let everyone down, etc. and so on.

I say we make peace with our imperfections and scattiness and figure the following: as long as our kids get hugs and kisses every day and feel safe and don't go to bed hungry, we're doing one pretty damn important thing right.

As for the doll: that is so something I would do. I cringed whilst reading your story: I feel your embarassment and anger and that feeling of sheer stupidity. Your Mom's advice is perfect: we have to let these things go... hard as it is to do.

Anonymous | 7:14 AM

One time I offered to drive a Chinese friend from my college to DC to take the GRE (she prepaid about $200). Didn't prepare enough ahead of time, got lost, then drove to the wrong site and made her miss her test :-( Another time, while in a poor Central Asian country, I thought I'd "treat" a new friend there to milkshakes at the Ritz Carlton, the only five-star establishment within miles. Unfortunately my card was denied and we had to roam the streets looking for her friends so we could ask them for change to pay the bill. So I know what you mean about half-assed! Sometimes I forget, though, that it is the same spontaneity that compels me to rush to a friend's side, or strike up a conversation with a stranger, when others would be too busy or unavailable.

Marissa | 7:29 AM

I just read this. You? Broken? Nope.
I think you are exciting, electric, invigorating, ambitious and full of LIFE. Life that can't be contained by a box, or to-do lists or unreal self-expectations. Your children will look back and be grateful they could experience life with your energy rather than look at pristine things in boxes.
You are Living. Keep on, sister.

EatPlayLove | 8:40 AM

My 6yo has a Blythe Doll my husband bought her in Japan. She PLAYS with it, brushes her hair, sometimes leaves her on the floor, but generally adores her. Yes, she was expensive.

Dolls are to be played with, not sit in boxes. I am right there with you, rip open the box and enjoy LIFE.

Maggie Mason | 9:08 AM

We were having the exact same day at the exact same time. How funny.

Kate | 11:14 AM

I played with my mothers Madame Alexander Dolls form the 1950's when I was a child in the 1970's.

I played with all the hand made dolls clothes that my mother and her sister made in miniature of all the couture fashions of the day. These dolls even had mink stoles.

I played with them until the rubber bands inside their bodies that held their heads and limbs onto their torso broke and they become a box of parts and beautiful clothes.

I loved those Madame Alexander Dolls to death. Blythe should be so lucky.

Christina | 11:17 AM

I am literally sobbing because I woke up feeling like this today. I can't do 13 units at school, and soccer practice for my 5 year old, and sit with the 2 year old while he colors, and remember to bring a box of Cheerio's to my son's school, and be a single mom, and deal with my asshole ex, and go to work and...and..AND ugghhhhhh it's SO hard sometimes. I am broken too. I'm an ex-party girl who used to feel like this after all night ragers, but back then I didn't have to be a mom. And I could cry all day, and then drown it at night. Sometimes I feel unable to do any of it, but life doesn't stop and I still have to show up, but I don't want to and so I half-ass it, and then I miss assignments at school, show up late for work, feel guilty for wanting to be alone. I get down on myself because from the outside looking in my friends and family think I'm so awesome, but really I'm barely holding on. Whew! It feels good to be understood.

And on a totally unrelated, but completely awesome note, I bought the turquoise ruffle dress from Urban Outfitters (Missy's Make-over) and it's awesome, and it makes my boobs look great, and they only had 1 left and it was in my size. Victory!

Anonymous | 12:02 PM

My husband had some of the rarest NBA collector's figurines when he was a kid. He used to wrestle with them, play basketball with them, everything. Today, they'd be worth like hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. One day (a few months ago) he was like, "I should have kept them in the box," but I don't agree. He has some of the best memories of throwing those figures against the wall, lining them up along the bathtub, and sharing them with friends. Fable will have great memories of that doll, and if you kept it in the box it would have meant nothing to her...well not for another 15 years -- and who's to say she'll even be interested in dolls then? You don't seem like that kind of mom, anyway. You seem like a "now" kind of mom, and I think that's cool. Enjoying each other now, living in the happy moments now, documenting the now. That doll can still be her favorite -- just now she has a little added character. I'm sure your friend got Fable that doll because she loves you, and your baby girl. And if playing with that doll makes your baby happy, then I'm sure your friend is happy, too. Besides, your friend knows your heart, and you didn't intent to destroy an expensive gift. No harm done. As for your "forgetfulness" as long as you have pants on, and your kids are fed, I think you're doing alright:)

Sabrina | 12:05 PM

Ugh. I'm not an anonymous commenter because that's annoying. I just forgot to type my name. See, it happens to all of us!

JP in IL | 12:54 PM

My question is this....

Did you daughter have fun playing with it? If so, then THAT is what makes it worth something....happiness is priceless.

And, something is only worth money if you sell it. If it sat in a closet, in a box, for 20 years....it isn't worth ANYTHING. Because, chances are, in 20 years, or whenever you think about selling it, you WON'T sell it because you know in another 20 years it will be worth more....and then it goes on and on....

Don't beat yourself up....keep enjoying life. Who cares if you are forgetful....who cares. Your family is happy and healthy and that is all that matters. Life happens.

Anonymous | 1:53 PM

I just want to give you a big hug.
Its just a doll. Pretty cool looking. I've never heard of those before. Its just one of those days. We're human. Totally normal. How come your friend didnt say something?

sharalee | 11:34 PM

you pretty much explained my life here...except that i don't have kids. today i crammed a photographic seminar registration & check under the door of the shop that i forgot to take it to during business hours (now i'm technically out of the deadline). i called the hotel i'll need to stay at and was told they were fully booked. i still haven't started the photo order i received last week and just dropped off a cd to someone who asked me for it today. oh, i've had the cd. sitting. undelivered. i'm late to work e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y and can't seem to remember to look at my car's gas gauge. fml. but who would i be otherwise?!

Sarah | 5:59 AM

I swallowed your book "Rockabye" whole this week. It was lovely, it was painful, it was raw. While I enjoyed every second, I also realized that you are very hard on yourself... (which in a fucked up way made me feel better about myself because I realized that I am not the only one out there that beats the hell out of myself).

Once again, you are beating yourself up - and over what? A Blythe Doll. I had no idea what what a BD was until I read this post. Let me tell you what, though ... If I bought one for Lucia, I would let her play with it because dolls are meant to be played with and loved and have lopsided pigtails and wardrobe malfunctions. Dolls represent childhood and love - never a mother's mistakes. Give yourself a break, woman.

And by the way, you are not half-ass, you are awesome. This "half-ass" quality that you speak of - I see you as free-spirited, loving, genuine. And, my darling, I think these things, this half-assed-ness, is something that so many of us admire in you.

Peace and love - SG

tlr | 7:47 AM

Glad things are looking up.
Someone may have already mentioned this but there is no way you could've broken the garbage disposal. We put everything down ours including ice cubes and rinds to clean it out. Spoons, bottle caps and various odd things have also fallen in and our disposal is still running after 15 years. So don't beat yourself up - it was time for the disposal to die. I think your landlord put a cheap one in. : )
Your post did make me feel better though. It's comforting to know someone else has days like mine.

Attilla The Mum | 8:20 AM

Fable's Blythe doll knows more love and happiness than any of those poor boxed-up pretty things. Dolls are meant to be played with and cuddled. And have their eye-changing bits removed. Peace.

alisonc | 3:45 PM

I'm a blythe doll collector. All I can say is, how could you have possibly known? Don't beat yourself up. I take mine out of the box and play with them.

nitza | 6:03 PM

My husband died of cancer last year. So for Christmas this year I bought my 5 year old daughter Barbies from the collectors catalog. I wanted her to have the exact Barbies that I played with Malibu and Glamour etc. I wanted her joy and memories to match mine, screw the price and the perfect box they came in. I needed those moments and so does she. Boxes suck, real hugs rock! Well, huge cardboard boxes that you can climb into are pretty cool.

helen | 6:20 AM

I haven't commented before but I've been reading - and loving - your blog since I had my baby a while after you had Fable so I kind of felt an affinity there. As much as I'd like to be half as cool and creative, and covet your hair and make-up, I think the thing I like most about your blog is that you don't make out it's easy to be good at all these things - being a mum is hard work, still looking good, working, being a wife, being a friend - all of it. All at the same time. So thanks for that.

As an aside, the reason I felt compelled to comment on this post is that I named my daughter Blythe - and I had bought lemons earlier that day ... now if only she had 'helped' me unpack the shopping as usual, what a great comment that would have made. I plan to buy her a doll of her namesake but after reading this post I won't 'keep it for best'. Life is for living, dolls are for babies to play with.

Anonymous | 2:29 PM

I have had the same similar situation with my daughter. Friends would by her expensive toys and she would just destroy them and I would cry, but it is true though...toys are meant to be played with. We are all broken sweetie!

Liz | 4:16 PM

My father-in-law worked on the Star Wars movies & gave my husband original X-wing fighters to play with when he was a little boy. My husband distinctly remembers destroying them with firecrackers. Oh well... he played with them & has a great memory of them, maybe that's important too.

angela | 7:40 AM

It's so much better to not play the game and not be that "perfect" mom. Everyone thinks they're annoying anyways. Then you can make up your own rules and do things the way you want to or need to do them. I had no idea what a Blythe doll was previously and I am constantly losing my keys, forgetting where I am, forgetting what I am doing, and, yes, forgetting homework for my kids. We do the best we can and sometimes we make mistakes. Your family seems happy and healthy and thoughtful, so keep up the great work!

Girlbert | 8:52 AM

You're NOT broken, just not finished. Still learning, as we all are. A beautiful work in progress...

Me, too.


Amy | 11:02 PM

Oh sweetie, you are so much more together than you know. You wanted your daughter to play with wild abandon with a doll. That is a truly beautiful gift.

Ashpdx | 6:43 AM

I didn't know what a Blythe doll was either! Your post inspired me to take my very special large Madame Alexander bride doll off the top shelf of my closet where it has been protected but unloved for a couple decades, and give it to my 7.5 year old daughter. I explained that it was special, but it was hers now and she could play with it. The shoes, hose, bouquet and veil were taken off and will possibly be lost, but seeing her hug it with such joy and exclaim over it's beauty was worth it. Isn't that what dolls are really for? Thanks Rebecca!

Stacie | 12:05 PM

I haven't read your blog in ages, and I think the universe pointed me in your direction today specifically for this post. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for spilling out your honest emotions for me to share in and relate to. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else feels the same as you just...well...it helps. It lifts the dark cloud just enough to come out from under it and see the shining sun up above.

You are amazing at all that you do, and all that you are. Thank you for sharing your life so openly.


Erin | 8:32 AM

Total crap if you ask me. Who wants a doll that only sits in a box? Not me and not my little girl.

Rita Arens | 2:07 PM

Here's something that sucks about me. I don't keep up well. I forgot my mother's birthday this year. She called me to remind me. And here I am, 137 comments down, thinking, "Wow, I wish I would've seen this the day Bec felt bad. Then I could've actually been helpful." But,no, I'm days late.

We are what we are. How are we supposed to know? That's why everyone should call everyone else on their birthday and say front-and-center all the subtext stuff. Lord, would life be easier.

If it makes you feel better, I quoted you today and made someone else's day better. Actually, you did.

ana | 9:53 AM

My friend forwarded me a link to your post because I am a Blythe collector and customizer and you know what? Anyone who tells you these dolls are not for playing needs to have their head examined. I tote my dolls with me everywhere. They faceplant on the cement and get so dirty they need shampoos and baths. I customized a doll for a 6-year-old girl last year and she is now dirty, messy and her string is broken but she is loved and that is what matters. I agree with Jon Lassiter and many of your commentors, the true value is how much enjoyment you and your family get from her. Enjoy her and don't be so hard on yourself.

(FYI, this particular doll is valued at about $100 in the box, about $75 out of the box without a string and with messy hair so don't sweat it!)

Lollipop | 10:07 AM

Don't worry. In terms of Blythe the one you got was the cheapest, and Ashton Drake reproduction (I got the same one for my niece this xmas). she is worth less than $80. The box isn't worth much (If she was a Takara type blythe, then perhaps). Blythe dolls ARE meant to be taken out of their boxes and enjoyed.

You didn't ruin anything, and it makes me giggle that you're so upset over a cheap ADG Blythe. Relax, you didn't do anything wrong. :)

From the looks of her she is easily fixed as well. You can also roll her eyes with your fingers to change them, don't need the cord.

The only blythe that need to be specially cared for are Kenner Blythes and Limited edition Takara Blythes.

Lollipop | 10:08 AM

ana: I disagree, I just bought the same exact doll for $75 before shipping cost brand new in box from ebay. She's worth probably $60 before shipping without her string.

spacecase | 11:48 PM


are you an aquarius or a pisces?

i... cannot tell you. this week has been so hard. and i know you wrote this post so long ago. but i keep fucking up and i keep trying to fix it but every time i go to fix something its a reminder that i didnt have to foresight to keep from breaking it.

its not fun.

i hope i get better at it just because my life is difficult enough and handling things the way a focused person would would make it tremendously better.

good luck to you, sister in spaciness.


Dollybird | 4:56 PM

I know this post is quite old now, but hell, I'm commenting anyway just in case you are still losing sleep over the Blythe doll that your kind friend bought for your daughter.

While there are precious and rare Blythe dolls that go for upwards of $1000, they are the vintage kind from 1972 - the original Kenners. The one you have is by Ashton Drake Gallery and is just a replica of the vintage ones. She's an Aztec Arrival and probably cost about $80 or so - and at this stage at least is not really a collectors item.

So play away Fable and I hope you are enjoying her!

By the way, if she is broken and you are looking to fix her I'm sure I can point you in the right direction.

Jen | 4:48 PM

New comment on an old post. At the age of 34 I ordered my first Blythe. For me. She arrived and I freed her from her cardboard prison because I got her to, well not play, photograph, dress up, have fun with...

Many people who own Blythe dolls do not keep them in the box. In fact many of them take them apart, paint them up, put new hair on them, etc. You know they're one of the only dolls I've ever heard of whose value actually goes UP from messing around with them.

Anna | 2:25 PM

I have 23 Blythe dolls and was not able to keep any of the new ones in the box personally. I love to dress them up and take pictures of them. I even made a blythe doll site filled with info, there are also a lot of pictures my own personal collection and organized online auctions to help find the the best blythe dolls for the best deals so people can buy there own ^o^ http://bigeyedbuys.com