Monday, August 21, 2006

The Cabbage Patch Kid Christmas

When I was seven, we lived on an air base England. My Dad was flying the A-10 Warthog while we were stationed there. A girl my age named Emily moved in next door shortly after we had arrived. She'd been living in the US and she owned all sorts of cool toys and movies I'd never seen before. I'd never seen a music video and she had "Thriller" on VHS. I think we broke the tape from watching it so much.

My favorite toy she owned was a Cabbage Patch Kid. Her kid was a female with yellow yarn braids. The doll looked like Emily. She showed me the signature on her kids butt, only real Cabbage Patch Kids were marked with "Xavier Roberts". She had other baby dolls but they just weren't the same. She always got to be the Mama of the Cabbage Patch Kid because she had adoption papers. I mothered the hard, plastic, non-autographed babies that didn't rate to own adoption papers.

I begged my Mom for a Cabbage Patch Kid for months. When you live in Europe, it can be difficult to get the hottest American toys. We could never find any Cabbage Patch Kids at the base exchange. My mom told me to write my Grandma a letter and ask her for a Kid for Christmas. I wrote my Grandma almost every week. Emily had shown me a book of the Cabbage Patch Kids. I knew which type of baby I wanted to adopt. I wanted a bald baby boy. I didn't like the yarn hair. Still to this day, if I decide to have a real baby, I hope it's a boy and bald when I give birth. Something about those soft little fuzzy heads I love. I'm buzzing my baby if it's born with a bush on it's head!

I guess even in the US, it was difficult to buy the Cabbage Patch Kids during the craze. My Grandma wrote me telling me she'd driven to many different towns and they were sold out. With three weeks left until Christmas, a package finally arrived. It was from Grandma and it was full of wrapped Christmas presents for the family. My Mom unpacked the box and put the presents under the tree. I ran over and found my box. I shook the shit out of it. My Mom told me to put it down, I was going to tear the paper all up.

The box containing my Kid attracted me like a moth to a flame. For the first few days, I would sit by the tree next to the box. Then, I would hold the box in my lap. One day, my Mom left with my sisters to the store. I couldn't hold back any longer. I carefully pulled off the scotch tape without ripping the paper. I got a glimpse of my baby! It was a bald baby boy just like I'd wished for, he was perfect! I carefully taped the box back up before my family returned home.

Just like an addict, my bald baby in the box consumed me. I couldn`t wait for my mom and sisters to leave the house again so I could stare at him. Finally, another private day came when they left for a basketball game. I pulled off the tape again, carefully. This time, looking at my baby wasn't enough. I wanted to hold him and find out his name. I opened the box and took out the adoption papers. His name was "Eugene Ernie". I loved it, it fitted him well. He had on a red baseball cap and denim overalls. I pulled down his pants and looked at the green Xavier Roberts signature on his ass. Emily's baby's Xavier Roberts was in boring, black ink. I knew Eugene was special.

I packed him back up in the box because my family would be returning soon. I encountered a minor problem, the tape wouldn't stick anymore. I searched the house frantically for more scotch tape. I couldn't find any. The only thing I found was masking tape. I tried to hide the white masking tape the best I could. I pushed the box toward the back of the tree so it wasn't as obvious. I promised myself I wouldn't open the box again until Christmas Eve. I could wait for three more days.

Our family had a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve night. It was a little tease of what was to come. You know which present I was opening, I don't have to tell you. Everyone was gathered around the tree after dinner. My Dad tells my sisters and I to choose our presents. I sit beside the tree with my box containing Eugene Ernie.

My sister asks, "Why did you chose that box first without shaking any of the others?"

"Because it's from Grandma and I miss her." I thought I was so smart.

"Are you sure you want to open that present? Once you open it, you can't exchange it. You are stuck with that present all night."

She was kind of laughing while she was staying this and giving shifty eyed glances to my other sister and Dad. I just wanted her to shut up so I could open the box and hold Eugene forever.

"Yes, I am sure! I want to open his box now!"

My Dad gave me the go ahead and I ripped the paper off the box. I opened up the box and was in for a shock. Inside wasn't my beloved baby but a children's dictionary instead. I started hysterically sobbing.

"Where is Eugene?" I had just exposed my sneaky lying self but didn't care. My baby had been kidnapped!

My Dad and sisters were laughing their heads off. They had found out I was opening the box and playing with him. The masking tape wasn't a good idea after all. They exchanged Eugene for the dictionary the night before. It was a lesson they were trying to teach me about being dishonest. I didn't get Eugene that night, I had to wait until morning. I got sent to bed early because I threw the stupid dictionary at my sister. It was the worst Christmas Eve I remember but my sisters thought it was the greatest trick ever.


At 1:01 PM, Blogger nancytoby said...

And you've resented dictionaries ever since?

You have the greatest stories! And a wise father.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

You have the best stories ever!

I got one of those bald boy babies for my son because his sister had a CP doll and I was testing the whole nature/nurture thing. He much preferred his little hammer and his 'dumbozer' (bull dozer).

Those dolls always had the strangest names. I used to think the factory had this elite cadre of workers who sat around a closed room smoking dope and thinking up these bizarre names.

Do you still have little Eugene?

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Flatman said...

Great post. I remember the cabbage patch craze... almost as bad as tickle-me-elmo...

I like your dad!

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Miss Jenny said...

Hee! You know you totally deserved it, but I can imagine how horrible it must have been for you as a kid. You are tricky!!

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

You should submit the story to the cabbage patch makers to have it published. You do have a way with words, though. Maybe the dictionary wasn't so bad for you. Do you still have the dictionary?

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Bolder said...

there was never a dull moment on Planet Mojo -- this i am certain!

was his bald head pink?

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Fe-lady said...

What a great, if you ever have a little boy are you going to name him "Eugene" ?

And I bet you never peek at your presents before you get them, do you?

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Chris said...

LOL! That's too funny. Well, I'm sure it wasn't funny for you back then, but you have to admit... you deserved it!

I can always be assured that when I visit your site, you'll have a post that makes me laugh. Thanks for sharing!

At 9:56 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

great story!

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