Under where?

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Red Riding Hood, North American Bear Co.

It was my cousin’s second birthday on Sunday, so we all braced ourselves for uncontainable cuteness and went to her party. This is a good representation of how it went:

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Turns out the terrible twos set in right away. In this shot, the birthday girl attempts to rip off her bib while her brother hides under a blanket. Do you remember being jealous of your siblings’ parties? This is what you might call a textbook example, at least until he commandeered some presents.

While the cousins threw around a squishy ball and sang on their new karaoke microphone, I checked out the mandatory Heritage Present. You know what I’m talking about; it’s that wooden train or porcelain doll from grandma that doesn’t bounce or use batteries. Red Riding Hood lay forgotten under a tangle of tissue paper.

But what was that peeking out from under Red’s skirt?

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The plot thickened considerably. Turns out Red didn’t need to go over the river and through the woods- grandma was hiding under there all along.

“Under where?”

You said underwear! But seriously. Grandma is underwear.

And now for the final plot twist:

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Flip granny around, and you’ll find a hungry wolf!

Thats when my inner (and, let’s admit it, outer) art nerd kicked in. The doll is a representation of a continuous narrative, in which several scenes of a story are shown simultaneously.

And that’s when my common sense kicked in and I realized what a weird teaching tool the doll was. This two-year-old would grow up believing all the characters in the story are a monstrous mega-entity. I mean, how is the wolf supposed to eat Red? Yoga?

The poor being will be eternally trapped in a vicious inner battle, a chase to catch its own tail. What drama! What struggle! What… art!

Perhaps this a better, more complex way to teach the story. Just make sure to check your kid for early signs of dissociative identity disorder. Wouldn’t want a little Sybil.

P.s. I swear this isn’t becoming a strange doll blog!! Though this is kind of a funny series.

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