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

Lynn Rampersad: Great story line

azaleeexcelus: This book honestly just made my day. I love all the characters and the diversity. I love how you have a mix of languages. Your truly talented. Update soon cant wait to see what happenes!

Debby : I enjoyed every part of it. I love how the characters developed and were in touch with reality. Their future looks good together. Hope Sadie doesn't fall in love...with some other explorer.. Adventures are bound to happen when you travel round the globe.

Amoloja Maryann: I truly enjoyed reading his story it was an interesting plot full of drama however I wish there was something like that Elijah's ex was a crazy psycho b**** who wanted to kill Alina instead it would be more fun that way

Amoloja Maryann: I truly enjoyed reading his story it was an interesting plot full of drama however I wish there was something like that Elijah's ex was a crazy psycho b**** who wanted to kill Alina instead it would be more fun that way

amouse261: it is a great story. has great development characters and with a tension between them that is incredible intense. the author knows how to catch your attention since the beginning and that's one of the most hard things to do with a cliché novel like this, but who doesn't love a little cliché? a fe...

Naomie: Amazing story!! I read this in one setting. Spencer is a girl who resonates with many girls in wanting to support everybody but also wanting to make their own path.

Abbyy Wabbyy: I really enjoy it so far and I can't wait for the next update and to see where this story will go cuz I'm in love with it already. 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

danak1828: Good girl goes through messed up family stuff meets bad boy rocker who actually finds his heart. Pretty cool. Would be nice if things actually turned out that awesome. Maybe if there's a London & Blake story (part two)?

More Recommendations

c: I love this book! The plot and story line are so well thought out and the slow burn between characters is amazing! So sad that I finished it :( Definitely a favorite of mine.

Hazel Shasin Nadar: Good one, a bit of a grametical mistake, the plots amaze, plz give a little cliffhanger, will do good.... Otherwise everything is amazing.. And plz update faster... I know its hard but plz... Ur killing the readers.. Oh and put some steamy stuff also to spice up a little..

uzitalker1: Lovely story. I couldn't stop reading until finished. The twist on the plot was amazing.👏 😍. However, it needs to be proof-read to correct the few minor grammatical errors.

Deleted User: Great story I loved it

lailachupp04: THIS NEEDS TO BE PUBLISHED I MUST MUST MUST SHOW THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE I KNOW!!!!!!I WANT TO HAVE A COPY OF IT SO BAD!!! your book was amazing and so interesting especially describing Maggie's life it reminds me of my life

Mıly Benz: We need more character like Wren and story like this 💕💕

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

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.