Our Little Wonder

Spending any amount of time looking up “doll hospitals” is an odd experience. Because you will find information. And it will be from people for whom gussying up ghastly dolls is a passion. Then you will realize that, in desiring of their services, you are looking to get into their circle. When you post to a local moms group, asking for feedback on a local doll hospital, because no online reviews exist, and then you are met with deafening silence, you may wonder if you should not have outed your dark needs. If nary even a Yelper dare speak of such a thing, should you really knock on its door? Because you are a licensed attorney, and you are creating an electronic record of madness which is not so good for your livelihood.   That is, in any case, my anecdotal experience with it.

So why go through this hassle and potential future as a social pariah? Because:  Caitlin. Or, Katelyn. I’ve never really written it out. She is a somewhere around fifty year old Madame Alexander doll, having belonged to my daughter’s great aunt. Caitlin was named by Edie, my four year old daughter. This doll is beloved, cared for, moved about the house. And, she. is. terrifying.


“Oh.  Hello, there. I am Caitlin.  And I have seen so, so many things….”

I am currently looking to give Caitlin a bit of a makeover, such that she haunts my dreams a bit less. Also because my husband is a good father and partner, and if Caitlin seems to appear out the ether next to him on the couch once more in her current state, we may lose him for a time. That would be sad and inconvenient. And if Edie can style her hair, that would be a big bonus.

Wish list includes:

  1. New hair that is soft and brushable, and lacks bald spots and/or plastic protrusions that give the appearance of being somewhat mangled, in perhaps a combine accident;
  2. Clean-up discolorations and reapply nail polish to chipped finger and toe nail beds, so as to liven her complexion and reduce the impression that she has crawled forth from a grave;
  3. Reinforce limbs, since they are half a century old yet played with in a new world manner, and also because if I find one of her arms or legs poking out from under my couch, I will cry a million tears of fright; and,
  4. Lastly, dip in holy water and screen for need of an excorcism. Conduct if necessary.


“Sleep tight.  I will see you soon.  Sooner than you’d like, in fact. Tee hee!”

Ah, but even so. We love this creep-tastic doll. Insofar as I love how Edie loves her. And I want her to last. Plus, she’s a family relic, which is special. And I like the idea of taking care of what we have instead of buying something new. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and the greatest of these is reuse! No, wait. The greatest is reduce. Well. Mine’s a close second.

The question remains as to how I get Caitlin out of the house for her rehabilitation, as I would like her reveal to be a Christmas surprise. I don’t think “Santa took Caitlin” would go over well, since Edie refers to her dolls as her “children.” The story of Santa Claus: Kidnapper seems like a real buzzkill. I will have to brainstorm about that. If, in fact, I ever manage to get to the inner circle of those who stare into the eyes of broken dolls, and hum to themselves, in a minor key, while they Dr. Frankenstein their little monsters back to life.

doll hosp

I must gird my loins.  For this is the coven whose expertise I seek.



  1. I have a doll that was my doll very like your doll – but in a little better condition. Plus a big wardrobe for her much of which my mother made. There is even a dress that was made out of her wedding nightgown.

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