(Overheard while Gigi and a friend are playing with Gigi’s vast Barbie collection in our basement playroom)
Gigi: We have to come up with a story. Each Barbie doll has to have a story.
Gigi: Because otherwise it’s boring.
Friend: What do ya mean a story?
Gigi: You know, why the Barbie is doing something or saying something. Like, the reason.
Friend: We can only play Barbies if there’s a story?
Friend: You have a lot of Barbies. We have to do a story for all of them?
Gigi: No, no, no. Just the ones we’re playing with.
Cassie: (sensing annoyance in the friend’s voice; inquiring as I start down the stairs leading to the playroom) Gigi, are you being nice to K?
Gigi: Totally, Mom. Don’t embarrass me.
(Having been told off, I retrace my steps and return to the kitchen.)
Gigi: I’ll just tell you how I do the story for this Barbie. Her mother is that Barbie doll over there. The Mother-Barbie and the Teenager Daughter-Barbie just had a fight about the dinner and now the Dad – you know, the Ken doll over there? He walks in and tells everyone to calm down…..’Get a grip,’ he says to the family. The Baby-Barbie starts to cry and the pretend Barbie-dog poodle barks like crazy….Now we make the Barbies talk and the story goes on.
Friend: That’s how you do the story?
Gigi: Yes. We just make stuff up. And talk and talk. Hurry up because you have to go home at 6:30.
Friend: I thought we just set up the mansion house and take the Barbie’s clothes on and off. That’s what we do at my house.
Gigi: Nah. At my house, you have to make it fun with a story. Otherwise, what’s the point?