Thursday, November 05, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Hannah got out of school early on the last day before the fall break started, but I had to teach until 2, so she hung out at home with her dad. When I got there, she had taken every single Barbie item out of her room and set up a Barbie world in the living room. Our apartment is “compact”, as a friend so tactfully put it recently, so the colonization of our living space by all the sexy chunks of plastic is a real imposition.
Starting from where I am sitting in the recliner in one corner and moving clockwise around the room, I can see:
- A Loving Family House filled with Barbie squatters, who have also set up extra, Barbie-brand dining room and bathroom sets out front
- A camper, opened up so the living space and bed are extended
- A Kelly treehouse
- A classroom
- A pink, plastic rolling tub, about 20 inches on a side, chock full of Barbies
That has brought us to the television in the other corner. Taking a bend and following the wall:
- A Barbie boutique, complete with mannequins and customers, which can be a little hard to tell apart
- A grocery store, including plastic fruits, a register and cashier, and a Kelly pushing a kid cart shaped like a race car
- A bakery full of plastic cakes
- A purple carriage pulled by a white-pink-purple horse
- A pink throne holding a king, queen, and tiny princess
From there, the sectional couch acts as a barrier to further Barbie encroachments.
Hannah basically emptied out the 3-drawer storage tower in order to ensure that every detail was perfect, like the tiny stuffed animals on the bed or the globe on the teacher’s desk. She spent hours beyond that Friday, as well, dressing the Barbies in scene-appropriate clothing—one has the perfect “grocery shopping” outfit—and combing out their ratty hair, which then had to be trimmed, colored, gelled, etc. No stylist could have done a more thorough job.
Unfortunately, she freaks out every time we bump something (see “compact”, above) and some tiny object is moved. We are currently fighting about her Barbie house blocking the door to the balcony, where the dryer lives. Since I can’t get through that way, I have to go through her room, but she pulls down the industrial-strength blinds to block out the light from the nearby street lamp at night, so I have to pull them back up to get out. And then she has a little conniption about the blinds being up. Anyone need a 12-year-old?
When I first saw the incursion by the Mattel corporation into my living room, I felt a little nostalgia, thinking that this was maybe a last gasp of Hannah’s childhood. But the more I think about it, I think it was just an extension of her still-active love of the Sims and all Sims-like games (like Animal Crossing). If there is ever a need for a social architect, I think Hannah has had more than enough training in order to get the job.