I walked in, and Elaine was sitting on her bed with her favorite doll, Elena.
"Elena is naughty," she announced. "I pull out her ponytails. Then I spank her," she said. "Yeah, spank her!" Lucy chimed in. She began bouncing around, telling me all about the naughtiness of her dolls, too.
Time for a Mother lecture. I explained to Lucy (again, sigh) about leading by example. How if she acts like it's fun and cool and hilarious to be naughty, so will Elaine. "Why don't you play something nice with the dolls?" I asked. "Why don't you put on your hymn CD and get your Bible story book and have Sunday School with them?" They were both all over that idea and were excitedly making plans and lining up the dolls as I went to take my shower. I heard them sweetly singing "Holy, Holy, Holy." That's more like it.
When I got out, I overheard them talking about how naughty all the dolls had been in Sunday School. Jack had slapped Shelley. Shirley Temple had stolen money from the collection plate. Raggedy Ann had peed in her pants, even though she is 8 years old and had to be sent to the toddler nursery. As Lucy explained it, "We didn't make the dolls be brats, Mama, they just WERE."
Here is Shirley's fate:
Poor Shirley. One week she's Queen of England, then she's in jail for stealing from the church. Maybe next week she'll be in rehab.