I like smart kids, you know, the ones that can tie their shoe laces at the age of one and know from the start that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. I love it when they ask ridiculous questions to which even I don’t know the answer, providing me with some excellent mental exercise! Just once a year, at Christmas, I curse these smart kids for testing my patience.
And my gift-making skills. My five year old niece wants dolls’ clothes for Christmas, either from ‘baby Jesus’, or from me – I’ve yet to figure out if she’s seen through that lie yet or not. I did however tell her from the beginning that Santa’s not real.
So, this smart little girl wants clothes for her dolls, but just not any clothes, no – rain gear, including wellies, raincoat, rain hat etc! Off I went to Karstadt in search of my niece’s dream outfit for her doll, thinking to myself it would be a doddle…
Once in the toy section, bizzarely always located in the basement, I marched straight to the dolls section and started browsing through the 2m long rail of clothes. Pink tutus, dungarees, dirndl. Every possible outfit, in various sizes. 32, 36, 38, 42…. Yep, dolls have clothes sizes too! I now understand why men find it hard to shop for their girlfriends, sensory overload. What do all the numbers mean? I can’t even use good judgment and guess since I’ve never even ‘met’ the doll. So I call my brother, who relieves me of my confusion. Dolls’ sizes aren’t calculated using chest, waist or hip measurements but are based on one simple thing – height! Thankfully, I now know I’m looking for a raincoat for a 32 cm tall doll, so back to the clothes rail I traipse, now in search of a size 32. I find a beautiful red raincoat with a checked collar. Perfect! But, as always, I’m not quite satisfied yet, so I keep on looking, in search of something better. And what do I find? A pink shiny jacket. So now I’m undecided. As I said, my niece is pretty smart. So I take a closer look and realise that the red raincoat isn’t water proof. I’m already anticipating her reaction: ‘But Auntie Christine, my doll’s gonna get wet!’ And the shiny jacket is quite short; in my head I can already hear her say ‘but Auntie Christine, dolly’s legs are gonna get wet!’ And obviously I’m still missing the wellies and the hat! Oh dear. So I check the prices first: the red raincoat costs 17,99 and the jacket a whopping 24,95 – though this does include a pair of jeans. A hell of a lot of money for some dolls’ clothes!
Whilst contemplating my purchase I browse the rest of the dolls section and find the accessories. And lo and behold, wellies! Sadly only in a size 42… I keep walking and pass the brand new dolls, already dressed and packaged just waiting to be bought and taken home. There’s 42 cm tall dolls, small 33cm tall ones, every size imaginable, including the one I’m shopping for. Just before the end of the aisle I notice the impossible. A doll! A doll with gorgeous blond ponytails! A doll with gorgeous blond ponytails and complete rain gear: coat, hat, boots, bag, umbrella. She’s wearing everything I’m looking for! My first thought: just buy the whole thing, give my niece the clothes and keep the doll. But she’s the wrong size; 1,5cm too short. Bad idea? I have no idea. I start to sweat and fret and have no clue what to do. A quick glance at the price makes up my mind: 9,99! I decide to buy the doll and have two options. If the clothes fit the 32 cm doll, great, then I’m the favourite Auntie forever more. If the clothes don’t fit, well, then she’s got a new doll, too. Which obviously ‘Baby Jesus’ had to deliver later as he’d forgotten to wrap her first time around, or something along those lines….
So now all I have to do is wait, anticipating either a ‘Thank you, Auntie Christine’ or a ‘But Auntie Christine….’