Instead, I’m going to share with you my terrifying experience with a doll in the Eighties. A story my Mum brings up any chance she can get.
It was 1988 and I was five years old. There’s an ad for a sweet, crawling doll who cries when she falls down with a theme song set to ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’. It sounds like a horror movie already.
Nevertheless, I decided this doll is what I wanted for Christmas. What you need to know about me is that I’ve always been a bit scared of dolls. And clowns and store mannequins. The dislike of clowns and mannequins becomes obvious when I share that a clown once pointed a (toy) gun at me at. Oh, and a store mannequin’s hand in Kmart randomly fell on my face and almost broke my nose when I was a toddler. It’s ok, I still love Kmart.
I don’t really know why I wanted a doll for Christmas. I suspect I was ‘trying on’ the idea of being like other girls. Being a girl who didn’t own any dolls was kind of my identity for a while, but then I thought I could change my mind.
I remember the doll in the ad looking cute. In reality, it looked more like the baby crawling across the ceiling in Trainspotting. For the last 30 odd years my mother has been telling the story of how she procured the last ‘Oopsie Baby’ in town only for me to hate it the second we put the batteries in. I’m telling you, this doll was terrifying. I have proof here
For over 30 years I’ve heard:
“It was the last one left on the shelf. I had to fight another mother for it”
“I knew you wouldn’t like it but you insisted”
“You shouldn’t believe what you see on TV”
Upon researching, I’ve discovered the correct name for this doll is actually Oopsie Daisy, and I wasn’t the only person terrified of it. There’s a certain trauma bonding that I’ve experienced as a 38 year old woman in discovering that this particular doll is known for being terrifying. Turns out they were poorly designed and were recalled one month after Christmas, due to their heads falling off, limbs detaching and the hair falling out!
Of all the toys to choose in my first foray into dolls, I naturally chose one of the worst.
The point is that it’s OK to change your mind. Even if it doesn’t work out. Maybe you want to try out what other people are doing in your industry because you think that you should (hello, Tik Tok videos). Or because you’ve come so far with something and feel it’s a ‘waste’ to not keep going. Or, you worry that you’ll let people down.
I was going to keep working with Borderline Personality Disorder and self-harm until I had kids and didn’t want to anymore. Then I was going to keep teaching Hypnobirthing until I decided I no longer wanted to work outside business hours. Then, I put a solid 4 years into birth trauma work before deciding I didn’t want it to be the ‘main’ thing I do anymore. Despite training as a Clinical Psychologist and working in private practice since 2009, I’m currently not offering counselling either. Have I disappointed people? Absolutely.
However, I’ve avoided burnout. Mentoring, writing and teaching courses just work much better with my life, my kids and my limited hours right now. I’ve changed my mind lots of times and lived to tell the tale 😊
I dare you – change your mind about something and see what happens. Surround yourself with supportive people who have insight and humility to realize that brave people change their minds all the time.
A version of this week’s blog can be found on the Mum as You Are podcast (though I’ve angled it more for changing your mind as it relates to mothering). Listen to it HERE
I also just wanted to end with a little bit of whimsy. I know (and appreciate) that many of you actually like my long, weirder-the-better style of emails.
This week, while putting the bins out, I saw a car coming around the corner very slowly. There was a dog running along next to the car. I think maybe it’s a lost dog chasing (herding?) the car. They pass my house, the driver smiling casually and then they turn into their driveway. The dog first, followed by the car. This is bizarre to me, given I have two baby gates permanently installed to keep my own dogs from running on the road.
I come inside and tell my husband about what I just saw. He shrugs and says “well, that’s what marathon runners do”. I’m sorry, is there some marathon for malamutes I should know about? (the dog was a actually a kelpie, but that didn’t sound as whimsical writing it out).