Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
Candace_Carrabus would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The End of Mama

By Candace_Carrabus All Rights Reserved ©

Humor

~

Hard as I tried to prevent it, my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter learned about the dreaded Barbie doll via pre-school. Okay, I’m the only one repulsed by the thing, and not just because I didn’t have one when I was a kid and all my friends did. No, really. I distrust this toy for her culpability in teaching our daughters to objectify themselves, not to mention her incredible proportions. Plus, anything surrounded by hype is suspect in my book. If Barbie, in all her incarnations and spin-offs, doesn’t epitomize hype, nothing does.

My little darling wanted to know if she could have a Barbie. I said no, but resigned myself to the knowledge that eventually we’d end up with at least one version of the vile doll under our roof. I decided to be proactive. If Barbie had to darken my door, I would control how and when. So, in the spirit of Don Corleone’s philosophy (or was it Sun Tzu?)—Keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer—I bought one and hid it under my bed.

And waited for the right moment.

An opportunity presented itself as an important upcoming passage loomed large on our horizon. The end of ‘mama.’ The end of breastfeeding my one-and-only child. Yes, even at age three, each morning, my darling girl climbed into ‘the big bed’ with us, and indulged in a little ‘mama.’ I didn’t want to wean her, and she wasn’t too keen on the idea, either. The end of ‘mama’ would be a big transition for us both.

We talked about celebrating in a way we’d both remember. I chose the day and tried to explain why she couldn’t nurse until she went to college. Frankly, I had trouble coming up with a good reason for that and resorted to the tried-and-true, “you just can’t.” I’d like to say I thought of an appropriate ritual to mark the event, but nothing came to mind. Instead, I let her pick out a couple of new toys. This, I told myself, would make it easier for her, but it was really to relieve my own confused feelings.

At the store, my girl chose statues of a horse and foal I thought perfect, plus we purchased a ‘big-girl’ nightgown. Princess-of-Ireland Barbie still waited under the bed to make her debut. I’d selected this model precisely because she didn’t look like a typical Barbie doll. She had wavy red hair and green eyes. Of course, from her ridiculously long neck to her absurdly pointed toes, she was Barbie through and through. When I suggested the doll also be part of our celebration, my daughter enthusiastically agreed. But while we wended our way though Walmart’s aisles, she sat contentedly in the shopping-cart seat, keeping tight hold of the big box with the horses in it, staring through the clear plastic top at the paint mare and her colt.

In the checkout line, a young woman smiled and asked, “Do you have a new horsy there?”

“Yes,” my darling proclaimed loudly. “It’s to celebrate the end of mama.”

The woman’s gaze flicked over me as if she were speculating about the potential reason for my demise and why it was cause for celebration. I groaned inwardly. Suddenly, something perfectly natural sounded sinister. Of course, I felt the need to explain extended nursing and our desire to commemorate its conclusion. My sputtering over the euphemistic ‘mama’ and how the word was a stand-in for both breasts and breast-feeding only garnered a more skeptical look. The woman not-too-subtly edged away. You’d think I’d announced we were going to sacrifice kittens at dawn.

After we arrived home, we freed the horses from their cardboard and plastic corral, and I brought out Princess-of-Ireland Barbie. My daughter’s face lit up as she took the package. She hugged and thanked me and held the box to her heart. I felt small and mean-spirited for wanting to deny her this pleasure. Surely I could counteract the influence of one Barbie? I didn’t have to like it, but maybe one wouldn’t permanently corrupt my child. Still, I insisted we wait until the next day to unleash the thing.

That evening, the darling child donned her big-girl nightgown, and to my eyes looked nearly ready to go off to college. Could it really be time for this so soon? The new horses watched over her from the bedside table, and she stationed Princess-of-Ireland Barbie, still boxed, in the hallway between our bedrooms.

“To guard us,” she said.

In many previous conversations, I’d stressed the importance that princesses—even Barbie princesses—be capable, kind, and smart in addition to pretty. After a short discussion, we concluded the red-haired doll must possess these qualities. After all, how else could she be a princess? That’s why she received the honored guard post.

Point for my side.

My girl-woman marched off to bed knowing the next morning would be the last time she breastfed. She was focused on getting Barbie when we were done, not consciously acknowledging she would never nurse again. Weeping about that was my job.

At daybreak, she asked for a little ‘mama,’ just as she did every day. I was wistful; she was eager to play with her new doll. Reluctantly, I let her go, trying hard to be the grownup of the two of us, knowing this to be only the first of many such separations that would be harder on me than her.

Two points for Barbie.

A little later, though, after undressing and redressing the object of her desire, trying the unusable shoes on a couple of other dolls, “like Cinderella,” then unsuccessfully striving to make those stiff limbs straddle a horse or do anything but look impossibly long, my darling proclaimed the Barbie princess pretty but useless—particularly her smooth ‘mamas.’

“They don’t work,” she said.

Game to me.

The horses, along with the rest of an ever-expanding herd, get played with every day. Princess-of-Ireland Barbie, in her brocade gown, velvet cloak, and gold tiara, sits forsaken on a dresser—shoeless, friendless—a lonely reminder that perfection is boring.

I pretend not to gloat.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Candace_Carrabus
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Dhira Vidhea, author of Boy Who Broke In My Window, an otherwise engaging tale of love and acceptance of the quirkiest of individuals, whose overall conception of the plot is spot-on and whose writing style is impeccable and as for her writing skills they are the best I've ever seen, tho...

Hrishitaa Kanpal: I was so excited to read tis book, I actually couldn't think pf any other thing while reading this book I was hoping for a good ending I had thought of a very sweet and beautiful ending. I also suggested my friends to read this book but when I read the ending my all thoughts were shattered I was ...

Jaslyn: I loved reading this so much!! The transformation of Nina's self-esteem was incredible to read, and while I was rooting for Parker halfway through, I was very satisfied when Harrison and Nina finally got everything straight. The side characters were adorable - I especially loved Anna, Richel, Mic...

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

givemeabook1: Love it. I want to promote your Inkitt book for free to my list of newsletter subscribers. If that is ok with you then please email me at exzordersplrwso AT gmail.com to book your spot, thanks (please don’t comment here I don’t read comments).

Mark Morris: Just back from a week in Dublin and finished this story in 2 days - very entertaining and an easy, fun read. The plot keeps moving and the various scenarios - divorce, ex husband, job, lovers maintains interest.Hope to read part 2 soon as possible, back in Australia. Well done aiofe 👍

mcase: I really enjoyed this story. Felt drawn to Cami as a genuine person. Great characters with funny honest perspective. Many subplots made this continually interesting. I was never bored and thought the overall plot was intriguing. I do wish that some elements had been excluded, such as some extrane...

Chelley McD: The author did an impressive job designing this story, from the wording to the expression, to the plot. I love the fire-y moments, and the bantering between main characters is to die for! Great job, keep up the good work!! 😘

More Recommendations

Chak Nastya: awesome story! had me hooked from the start. though i kind of already guessed what was going to happen next it was still a nice story. i have a feeling as if it hasn't been properly finished but i don't know why. but it's your story and you decide when it's over or not

Destiny Lee: This is amazing. It's totally realistic - cool girls have flaws, too, okay?? Totally awkward girl picks up her mom's old bass from her garage, messes around, and realizes, hey, maybe I can move on after all. She has moments where everything's hopeless for her, after all, an alcoholic dad and a fl...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.