I knew from the beginning that Fantasy Barbie was going to be different. She was born on a Sunday morning during one of the worst blizzards North Dakota had ever seen. My water broke at 8:10 am, I had my first pain at 8:25 am, the second pain at 8:35 am and she was born at 8:45 am.
She started her campaign to drive me crazy immediately. She didn't cry at birth and I hear the doctor yell to the nurse:
Dr: Oh My God Margaret! Come down here and look at this baby's head, I have never seen anything like it!
Nurse Margaret: *goes to look* Wow! I haven't either , we are going to have to cut some of that off as soon as we get to the nursery. Joan, Joan come look at this!
Nurse Joan: * arrives and comes to complete stop about 3 ft away* This is a joke, right? You guys put something on her head!
Dr: No joke, it's all hers.
I was hysterical, asking questions that were being ignored while they all looked on in amazement at my child's head. I was convinced I had just given birth to some hideous alien life form. Finally after me screaming "What's wrong with her!" about 10 times the doctor casually looks up at me and says, "Nothing is wrong with her, she is perfectly healthy and beautiful but she has a head full of black hair. I have never seen a baby born with this much hair." Hair? Are you fucking kidding me? You caused all this commotion and fear over hair? You didn't say "hair" you idiot you said "head". Then I see her and what comes out of my mouth? "Oh My God, look at her head!" This child had more hair than I did, thick, long and so black it had a blueish tint to it. I have seen babies born with a lot of hair, all my children were born with full heads of hair, but nothing like Fantasy Barbie's hair. For the next several hours we had nurses from other floors coming to see her hair, almost all returning the next day to bring bows, barrettes and miscellaneous other hair decorations. The night she was born the nurses went across the street and bought hair rollers, they actually rolled my newborn baby's hair. In retrospect I think this is where her excessive vanity started, it was somehow imprinted on this newborn that she must go through life obsessed with her looks and with a "it's all about me" state of mind. She was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen and still is. But a lifetime of being stopped and told how beautiful she was/is has not prepared her for real life.
I love her more than life, but Fantasy Barbie can only relate to the world if it involves her. She has no interest in news because...well...it isn't about her. She has no sympathy or empathy for anyone because...well...don't they realize they are making her late for her nail appointment? I mean seriously people do you really expect her to buy a gift for someone else when she could be buying one for herself instead? It wasn't her fault they were born on that day so why should she have to buy them something?
At 3 yrs old while visiting my parents we had a large family reunion. As usual she was fawned over excessively and she was in heaven. The next day at the grocery store she wanted something, I no longer remember what, and being told no she threw a fit. I told her to stop acting ugly because people hate it when little girls act like that. Stunned she looked at me and replied: "It's OK Mommy, I can act any way I want because I am so pretty." We get back to my parents and the first thing out of my Dad's mouth was "Where has my pretty little girl been?", I ask him not to call her that anymore because it was obviously sending her the wrong message. She yells out to me: "Don't say that Mommy! I need to hear this!"
We had left my parents and gone back to our home when my Mother called me one day to ask if there was any particular reason I had put a bag of chips, a package of hot dogs, a can of Sprite and 4 candy bars in the guest room dresser drawer. I didn't put it there but I knew, based on her history, who the most likely suspect was.
Mom: Fantasy Barbie, did you put food in the dresser drawer when we were at Grammy's?
Fantasy Barbie: Yes
Fantasy Barbie: So the other kids couldn't get it.
She came to me at 6 yrs old and ask if we could get rid of her older brother because she wanted to be an only child. Upon being told no, that he had to stay she became irate and yelled "I don't belong here, I belong to a family that doesn't have any other kids so I can get a lot more stuff!"
Fantasy Barbie was also a money hoarder and had the makings of a loan shark. She would go around the house every night before going to bed and gather up the ny loose change she could find. The loose change in your purse or her Dad's pocket was considered abandoned by her and subject to collection. At any given time since she was 3 yrs old this child had at least $50 stashed in her room. If you needed to borrow a couple dollars from her you paid it back double. Stealing it when she wasn't looking didn't work either, she counted that money twice a day to make sure it was all still there. She outgrew this and now has no money sense whatsoever.
Fantasy Barbie would only play "clean" things as a child. She played teacher, nurse, board games, beauty salon, etc. Never, ever would this child even consider a sandbox or dirt pile. One year she got a bicycle for Christmas, we think this just might work because you can stay clean while riding a bicycle. She did ride her bicycle. One time. She got on it, rode about 5 ft and fell over. This sent her into a dramatic tailspin of screams because she had a wound on her knee and it would look ugly. She wanted a bandaid on this wound. The fact that it took her 5 minutes of diligent searching to find this massive wound so she could point it out to me didn't matter. It had to be covered to preserve her beauty. She never rode that bicycle again.
Fantasy Barbie is also extremely shy, she wants to be looked at but not heard. She rarely raises her voice and it is almost impossible to talk to her on the phone because of this.
She may be right, it could have been a bad joke God was playing on her when she was born into this family. Let's do a comparison here:
Family: Living in our house is sometimes like living in a situation comedy you would see on television. We all have a great sense of humor, we love funny movies and tv shows and we play practical jokes on each other. We can be loud when we are all together.
Fantasy Barbie: Fantasy Barbie has yet to find the movie, tv show or joke that she finds funny. She will literally stare at us blankly as we are rolling with laughter over something and say "I don't get it". We also hear a lot of "You guys are so embarrassing!" and "Oh My God, what did I do to deserve you people!".
Family: I Did Child (you will meet him next) likes being neat and clean but he doesn't worry about what name is on the back pocket of his jeans, he is more concerned that they are ironed. But She's Pretty Child likes clothes and make up and all the other girl trappings but she doesn't care what label it is or where it comes from. If she likes the way it looks she is happy. She is thrilled to find a good cheap sale at Walmart. Forever Child, just couldn't care less period. I'm lucky if he even notices he dropped something from his lunch on his shirt, not that it really matters he wouldn't wipe it off even if he did notice it. He is totally clueless about name brands and has no interest in learning. Mom is happy with a new pair of pj bottom's from the Dollar General Store. We might buy a new article of clothing once every two or three months, if we see something nice on the clearance rack.
Fantasy Barbie: Shopping is a way of life and must be done daily. Her brother swears that if the economy does collapse she will become suicidal. Her biggest nightmare would be wearing something that came from Walmart or Target. She only shops at Macy's, Nordstrom's, American Eagle, Aeropostle or Old Navy and their label must be prominently displayed. Make up must be top of the line designer brands. This is the child that will wear a pair of $100 flip flops to the beach. She can spiral into a deep depression over the closing of one of her favorite shops.
Family: We like to look nice when going out in public (Hey, I think I look nice in my pj bottoms and a nice t-shirt!) but if short on time we will go "as is". We can be ready to walk out the door in 10 minutes.
Fantasy Barbie: All trips must be planned at least 24 hrs in advance to give time to get dressed. Getting dressed requires 2 to 3 clothing changes to make sure she has just the right "look". She seriously will not go anywhere without full make up and the hair being styled. She much prefers to be late than to be seen without makeup. So if you wake up one morning and the world as you know it is gone then you will know that Fantasy Barbie left the house with no make up on.
Family: We love pets, all pets and we all have them. They have free run of the house, they rule our lives and they go everywhere with us. Pet's are like our children.
Fantasy Barbie: I'm sure when Fantasy Barbie finds a pet that doesn't shed, doesn't require regular meals, doesn't ever have to use the bathroom, doesn't ever bark, growl or meow, never needs to visit the "dirty" veterinarian's office, never gets on her furniture and masters the art of cuddling at arm's length she will love them too. I have suggested she try to find a pet at the local Taxidermy.
We always knew she was going to be a make up artist, something in the fashion industry or a hairstylist, we just couldn't see any other choice for her. This is all she talked about and all she thought about. I had visions of free haircuts and color for life. She graduates and it comes time to choose her career so off she goes to register for college. She has two college degrees in her chosen field and I am very proud of her. She is one of the best I have ever seen at what she does and I have seen a lot of them, even taught many of them.
Prissy, fanatically clean Fantasy Barbie chose a career in one of the messiest, dirtiest fields possible. She is an Advanced Critical Care Flight Paramedic. This child who use to complain about the blades blowing dust on her when she came on the tarmac is now boarding that same chopper many times a day. I guess maybe she did get a little something from me after all. If I am ever injured she is the Paramedic I want on scene.
Lest you think she no longer deserves to be called Fantasy Barbie let me set your mind at ease. This is a phone conversation we had just the other night:
Fantasy Barbie: We are about 7 minutes out. This was a bad one Mom, you should have been on scene.
Mom: I wondered if you were going to be taking the call.
Fantasy Barbie: Yeah, I was scrunched up in that car for the entire two hours it took the FD to cut them out trying to keep that woman alive long enough to board her for flight.
Fantasy Barbie: I broke my ring finger nail trying to start an IV in that car and I am going to have to come in and change my uniform, it's a bloody mess.
Mom: Sorry about the nail and uniform, status please.
Fantasy Barbie: I just had those nails done yesterday, sometimes I hate this job, I am always breaking my nails.
Mom: Well it's to be expected, trauma doesn't worry very much about acrylic nails.
Fantasy Barbie: Mom, your always worried about the outcome and I broke a perfectly good brand new acrylic nail that is not going to take me an hour to get repaired when I get off in the morning.
Mom: Fantasy Barbie, I am deeply sorry about the nail and the fact that you will not be able to sleep until it is repaired but I really need to know about the pt now.
Fantasy Barbie: Oh her, she died enroute.
Fantasy Barbie got her nail fixed on the way home the next morning and was ready to board again by 3 pm. Her ability to turn it on and off totally amazes me.