Thursday, September 28, 2006

What Were Your Cabbage Patch Kids Named?

The blue corduroy suit on my Cabbage Patch Kid doll has lost its elasticity, its Velcro tabs, and two buttons. It is not even fair to call it blue anymore. Newton Vince is his name, and he is approaching twenty-five years old.

You need to know this about Cabbage Patch Kids, if you don't already: they come with weird names and each one has a signature on its soft, batting-filled butt. The signer was Xavier Roberts, the creator of these pop culture precursors to Tickle Me Elmo, the kind of product that could cause Christmas-time brawls in the toy aisle when only one was left.

Newton Vince has a rubbery, talcum scented plastic head of perfectly round proportions. The globular effect is carried through in the tiny “o” of his mouth, which closes around a plastic pacifier that can be removed and inserted at his owner’s discretion. Newton’s eyes are round, too. Big and blue, overlooking a tiny nose, as rubbery and powdery smelling as the rest of that sweet head.

I was five years old when I received Newton as a Christmas gift from my uncle Bob. I remember this Christmas particularly well because it coincided with the time I decided I didn’t like having bangs. So, I cut them off. I went to a party at my aunt’s house sporting forehead fringe no longer than a centimeter at any given point. In pictures, I am clutching Newton tightly.

He's a mess right now. I do not blame myself for this, as he just recently came back into my possession. Previously, he spent time with my brother, six years my junior, and my sister, thirteen years younger than myself. I have my suspicions that a brief hiatus in my parent's attic is responsible for some of the additional grime on his aging body. His head has gone from white to brown and his fabric torso has darkened similarly. The strings that separated the soft paddle of his hands into individual fingers have frayed, leaving two dirty stumps.

He's home now, on the top of the washing machine, waiting for a toss in the gentle cycle. I keep putting it off because I don't know if he can stand it. How old is 25 in Cabbage Patch years? How long can a childhood last?

8 comments:

Whirlwind said...

Ruban was my CPK (although sadly I have forgotten his middle name). He too has recently come into my possesion again, although he is missing his origional clothing. I'm sure if I search had enough, I can find them again in my parents attic, amongst the collection of treasure from 6 kids childhood.

Meenie has adopted Ruben now and I enjoy seeing her carry him around (although she insists he wears a dress).

I want to get each of the girls their own CPK.

T. said...

Hester Kate. I was soooo ticked off that I got a Hester and my sister got a Nicholas.

Didn't seem fair.

Hester now resides with my daughter and she has survived a wash or two. But Hester is a spring chicken compared to Newton.

She's only 21 yrs old.

Karen said...

Raina Isle and Gwenivere Something-or-other.

My sister - snicker - was too old for Cabbage Patch dolls. And I was older than 5 when I first got mine, and I thought I had one hot off the press. Wait, maybe I'M OLD.

Oh crap.

Chris said...

Let's ignore the fact that when he arrived to his resting place on the washing machine, he was just a sprite 23 years old.

Anonymous said...

Ian Blakey
Tula Piedad

Kristen said...

Sam Lionel.

My daughter was playing with him yesterday.

Mary-LUE said...

In my quest to not "gender-bias" my son, I bought him a Cabbage Patch doll named Efrem Colin. I picked that one because my son's name is Colin.

No go. That doll got stripped naked and then left on the floor. Periodically I would redress him but to no avail. Eventually we got rid of him. Stuffed animals, yes. Action figures, yes. Boy Cabbage Patch dolls? No.

I was too old when the Cabbage Patch doll craze hit, but I can remember my bosses scrambling like mad to find them for their kids!

Amy said...

I dressed Isabella in my CPK's outfit when she was a newborn! My mom came over that day and knew right away it was from Patty McDaddy- her real name was Patricia.