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Who knows how to handle it…. Christ, she is frightening – she is just what everyone says she is. And she will sneak in, one way or another. An unenlightened relative will send her, or there will be a fit in a toystore – this one came in a most roundabout, but also revelatory way. We let her go to the bakery to pick out her own birthday cake, and she selected the one that formed a giant dress with her in the middle.

You can’t prohibit, it only makes it worse. Those whose television-viewing was rationed or prohibited can’t stop watching shit, whereas I was literally parked in front of the set for hours at a time, it is never turned off in my parents’ house, and now I can barely stand to look at the thing. Other things were prohibited me, directly or indirectly, and if you only knew the problems that I have with them now.

You want to be vulgarly dialectical about it, you want to allow the complex relationship to things like socially-mandated norms of female beauty or (later) drugs or sex or ambition to form naturally. So you neither deny anything nor do you want to become the cool parent, the liberal parent, raising a monstrous child with no edges or real interests or ethics or properly curvaceous drives.

The festina lente temporality of parenting: at every moment, the need to have a firm grasp of a solid answer to the question What is a woman/man? There is an implicit demand, registered everyday, that you solve the unsolveable – how, for instance, the child is the mother of the woman. But at the same time, you know that you can’t rush the solution, as you have to get it right or right enough and besides it seems there’s no good way to learn it but by watching your kids grow up. The child is the mother of the man.

So true to the pattern, Barbie arrived, she is kept permanently nearly naked, and she is thrown violently a couple times a day. Apparently, all girls throw their Barbies.

Written by adswithoutproducts

June 27, 2009 at 8:02 am

Posted in parenting

4 Responses

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  1. You could fix her up one of these, just to confuse things further!

    infinite thought

    June 28, 2009 at 7:37 am

  2. Tee hee barbie in aggregate!


    June 28, 2009 at 8:33 am

  3. Ha! There is no right answer is there! Is super tricky. Honestly, one wants to raise daughters to be sort of inadvertently attractive, inadvertently successful, happy without trying too hard…


    June 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

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