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:
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?
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.
You said underwear! But seriously. Grandma is underwear.
And now for the final plot twist:
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.