A Tale of Two Addies

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, August 16, 2006 |

Last April, Wood wrote a post about Juniper's beloved doll "Addie," a $2.99 bean-bag piece of crap from Target. Some wise commenter noted that we should buy more than one Addie, so we did. We should have bought dozens of them, and kept them like those Jengo Fett clones in the new Star Wars movies, marching around in Wood's closet, eating gruel at long miniature cafeteria tables, waiting for the day that each will be called into service. The Addies you see in the picture above are, from left to right, Addie #2 and Addie #4. Addie #1 was abandoned somewhere in the deep recesses of Golden Gate Park, and is now struggling to survive by collecting miniature recyclable cans in miniature garbage bags and fighting pigeons and rats for chunks of rice that old Chinese ladies toss out in giant buckets near Lloyd lake. Nobody knows what happened to Addie #3. We speculate Juniper finally succeeded in her mission to convince Addie #3 to ride a pigeon. Maybe Addie #3 simply saw her opportunity to hitch a ride on a mangy bird and get the fuck away from us one fateful day. It is still a mystery.

Addie #2 is really approaching mandatory retirement age. You can tell because she's starting to look like something you'd find in a goth teenager's high school "found object" art project. Juniper has applied "makeup" (a black marker) to one eye and even after several trips through the washing machine, Addie's onesie is no longer white, but a distinctive shade of puke gray. Also, Addie #2 smells. She is covered in food and has been dropped in the pigeon-shit water at the park one too many times. I'm going to have to come up with a good way to retire her, maybe dress her like a Wagnerian soprano and float her out into Lloyd lake in a balsa wood boat and shoot miniature flaming arrows at it. See ya, Brunnhilde.

Don't worry, though, I'll march Addie #4 out from her hiding place before we have our Viking funeral for #2. The trauma will be minimal and totally outweighed by the awesomeness.

Pediatric psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott established the idea of "transitional objects" as tools to delineate one's physical body from the outside world and learn the relationship between self and other. In Winnicott's view, through the transitional object, a child safely moves from the symbiotic relationship with its mother to being more independent, retaining the feelings of security through the lingering trace of the caregiver even when alone. The infant and her future counterpart will return to the transitional object to sleep or in times of need. I think Addie #1 may have originally played the role of a transitional object to Juniper (she never grew attached to any blankets or stuffed animals), but beyond simply acting as transitional objects, Addie #2 and her recent colleagues have become full-on surrogates for Juniper's adventurous side. It's some serious voodoo shit. Anything that Juniper is too nervous to try, Addie #2 gets to do it first, such as swimming in the pool at Blogher, eating tofu scramble, going down the tall slide, trying the intimidating spinning apparati at the playground, breakdancing, funny-car racing, bungee jumping, and even going pee pee in the potty (accompanied by the psssssssss sound I taught her over the last two days, much to Wood's embarassment).

The other fascinating aspect of the new Addie is Juniper's imitative maternal care for her. Like her colleague William Grosspietsch, she nurses Addie at her own "booboobs," and she loves feeding Addie"num nums" while in her high chair. Addie gets taken for strolls around the block, sits in adjoining swings at the playground, and gets to "ride" on the backs of real dogs tied outside the coffee shop like the baby in her favorite books. Juniper will even put her in a shoebox coffin, cover her with a tissue, and order us to "shhhhhh!" if we say anything during or after the process. Juniper is either practicing to be a funeral director, or she is putting Addie to "bed." She will even rock Addie to sleep the same way we rock her, and the other day she began singing her first song: "ockaby, baby, eee oh eee opps." It's so fucking cute I want to shoot myself.

All of that love and attention aside, Juniper is not above treating Addie with recklessness that deserves intervention from DPS (Doll Protective Services), enough to land Addie #2 in doll foster care. When looking at Juniper's face in the set of pictures that follow, I can't help thinking that's the same face Aztec priests must have made while stomping on the hearts of their victims in the ecstacy of a child sacrifice. If Juniper is learning to care for her doll from the care we are providing her, where the hell did she learn to do this: