When I Am Not Perfect

(my mother never outgrew her dolls)

I am alone

Except when I am perfect

When I am not perfect

I am alone

I am not alone with my baby dolls

Good baby dolls

They are perfect

They are here with me

When I am not perfect

I am not alone

I made my own baby dolls

They are perfect

They are with me

I am not alone

Sometimes the babies are not perfect

Then I am alone again

I have to make them perfect

So they can be here with me

So I will not be alone

The babies grew up

They are not perfect now

I am alone again

I will make another baby

Another perfect baby

To be here with me

So I do not have to be alone

All the babies grew up

I am alone



This piece is in recognition of the words my mother wrote about me the day after my 2nd birthday:

September 1, 1953

“Yesterday I looked in her room to find her sitting on her new little chair Grandma gave her with her new dolly in her arms all wrapped up in a little piece of blanket I gave her – rocking back and forth singing “Rock-a Bye Baby” so sweetly.  When she saw me she smiled so sweetly I gave her a big hug and kiss and – it was one of those moments I’ll never forget.  A picture I’ve held in my heart since I was a girl and there it was – my own little beautiful girl loving her dolls and someday her baby!!”


I did not turn out to be the same kind of mother my mother was to me.  For this fact I am forever grateful.


Here’s another spooky doll story I found in mother’s 1955 Diary:

Wednesday, January 26, 1955 [I was 3 ½ years old]

How Linda has come to love her dolls.  Mother told me I was silly to worry but I was really beginning to think she’d never be really interested in them.  {Linda note:  That is really spooky!  So what if I NEVER looked at or picked up a doll.  This feels like some weird form of brain-washing mind control, used to turn a person into something they are not – in the interests of – WHAT?}  She has found out how to dress and undress her big doll with the hair.  It has made all the difference in the world.  She puts its clothes on and off, feeds her family and talks to them in very motherly fashion.  Yes she does love playing with her dolls at long last.

Cindy has always loved them but of course her play is so different than Linda’s.  She piles them every which-way in the carriage and then completely smothers them with blankets and on off they go!  She has now taken to talking to them – often wagging her little finger and saying “You naughty, naughty dolly”.  (Her inflection is perfect on this but the words sometimes a little blurred – but there’s no doubt of the tone and what she’s saying.)  [Linda note:  Oh, great!  Cindy is 18 months old, and she’s already scolding naughty dolls?  Gee!  Where might she have gotten that from?  This is like a scene from the ‘Twilight Zone’!]


Linda not being the perfect doll:

January 31, 1955

Linda and I had a little session about telling the truth.  Her new dress got torn – at the seam all the way around the front, while she was playing in her room.  I wasn’t angry but wondered how it could have happened.  She said she did it when she was a baby and wouldn’t tell me.  I’m trying to show her [me:  I bet!] if she tells the truth she doesn’t get punished and how important it’s to always tell the ‘truth’.  I think she understands now.  [Linda note:  Ok, so how at 3 ½ was I not supposed to be terrified of her?  I’m sure she would not have been ‘not angry’ no matter what I had said to her.  She continued to have a major obsession about “Linda lying” for the rest of my childhood.  Interesting that she wrote this one down here.  Never as a mother could I imagine having such a ‘session’ with my own children like the ‘sessions’ my mother had with me.  Sorry, mother, children are NOT perfect dolls.]


October 19, 2009 – Link to another ‘psychotic’ doll play piece of my mother’s 1955 writing:




    • Yes. This punishment progressed to being confined specifically to my bed when I got old enough she could enforce that for me. She could control my contact with both my father and with my grandmother by putting me to bed, and then telling them, “Linda was tired” or “Linda wasn’t feeling well.” Then banished to the corners, also, when I got old enough for that.

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