They hide in dolls she told us, but we didn’t listen. Just a little girl with her fantasies and games we thought. And while her fear of the toys we gave her did seem extreme, we simply put it down to an over-active imagination and far too much streaming questionable film on Netflix. In fact my husband said one day we should shut off the service altogether since she was too impressionable. But then I reminded him I’d get bored without it and then he’d have to entertain me and we laughed and laughed about that till Netflix remained.
They hide in dolls she would insist over the dinner table. And what, we’d indulge her, were ‘they’? The things that hide in dolls she’d reply as though adults are really very stupid and can’t see the obvious right in front of them.
Well, they have to hide somewhere dear, my husband said. Otherwise we’d catch them wouldn’t we?
Oh no, she told us, they never get caught. But one day, she said, when we aren’t looking, they’ll catch us. Clever girl, but a bit obsessed with it all I thought. My uncle is a psychotherapist, so I thought about her visiting him for a while. But time just runs away with you these days, doesn’t it, so I didn’t ever follow through.
They hide in dolls she said yesterday, as she lined her dolls up in the lounge room as though to make point to her particularly obstinate and blind audience. We laughed, for a little while, then noticed something. The line of dolls had moved forward.
How did you do that we asked our daughter. I didn’t she replied, they moved themselves. They aren’t hiding anymore.
That was yesterday. Today we are in some kind of dark barn, locked up by the dolls, and we’ve lots of time to think about how we should have listened to our daughter. But we can’t even talk to her about that, because she’s with the dolls now, so I guess she chose her side.
And far more wisely than my husband and I.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2020