signed, sealed, delivered: happy father’s day!

I’m reaching back quite a few years here, but remember when Cabbage Patch Kids first came out? To put it mildly, they were hard to find as well as ridiculously expensive for the average consumer (the category in which my family could be placed).

I had never had a doll collection, but oh how I longed for a Cabbage Patch. The dimples, the belly buttons, the signature on the bum?

Come on! How could you resist?

I did eventually get my fair share of these little ones once demand and prices dropped—my official Kids were named Alden Hermann, Dyann Sabrina, and the preemie, Yeti Kira (why, oh why do I remember these names?), but before them, there was Patty.

Yeah, just “Patty” so that should tell you right there that she didn’t have the seal of approval from BabyLand General. Her face shape, red hair, green eyes, and dimples actually made her look pretty close to the real thing (a “real” Patty twin above), but then there was the small matter of her digits. Patty didn’t have individual toes and fingers as my grandmother had just sewn her limbs into kind of pointy tips, but I didn’t care. Mam Mam also made all of Patty’s clothes for a while, so it was kind of an overall look we were going for obviously.

But you know what Patty did have? Adoption papers. Oh yes, just like her Patch brother and sisters, Patty had very official looking documents listing our names, address, the date, her footprints, and even witnesses.

This was all my dad’s idea. He was a Notary Public at the time, so he was used to all the stamping and witnessing. I’m not sure why he would’ve known that real Cabbage Patch Kids had adoption papers, but this was a huge hit with my 7-year-old self.

I remember waiting impatiently for him to peck out the required information on the old typewriter—this was even before my dad got his first Apple—and then as we signed form after form, and finally as he put the official seal on everything.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

And Patty was mine.

I didn’t truly appreciate the effort at the time, but looking back, what a thoughtful, creative, fun, and special thing to do. That little taste of bureaucracy made me feel like a real mommy, a real caretaker, a real person, and most importantly, loved and important.

I can only hope that if/when I’m a parent, I can remember to do those small things too, to every now and again experience life from a child’s viewpoint and figure out what will make him/her feel important and loved; maybe it doesn’t seem so in the moment, but memories are made among the small things.

So, Dad, thank you for the small things as well as the big things, and
Happy Father’s Day to you and all daddies everywhere!*

Ah, and to avoid having a Father’s Day post have only
a photo of a Cabbage Patch doll, cute as she is…
how ‘bout them Blue Devils?


[tags]cabbage patch kids, father’s day, fathers, dads, corvettes, blue devils, notary publics[/tags]

25 Beans of Wisdom to “signed, sealed, delivered: happy father’s day!”
  1. Shelley - At Home in Rome

    Wonderful post, brought back memories for me. I too had a wanna-be Cabbage Patch, that looked pretty close to the real thing but not quite, as my first CBK doll, then I finally did get the real thing too, but that was WAAAY after people had been stampeded at Toys R Us in the first round.

    That is such a sweet story what your dad did for you… thanks for sharing.

  2. Verilion

    Oh! You’ve just reminded me that I need to call my Dad. What a sweet thing your Dad did.

  3. nova

    How truly wonderful of your dad! That story is so touching.

  4. Cherrye

    Ahhh…now I miss my 1st little CBK, Korey Jessica…

  5. sognatrice

    Shelley, the wanna-bes were so cute, weren’t they? All smiley and happy, never knowing they weren’t the real thing?

    Verilion, yes, call your dad! Happy to remind you!

    Nova, glad you enjoyed; it’s nice to see you around here!

    Cherrye, what was *up* with their names? Seriously? I’m sure Korey Jessica misses you too.

  6. G

    What an wonderful Daddy, and an even more wonderful “you” for honoring the memory. Too many things in life go unnoticed, your Dad must be very proud of you for raising such an amazing woman.

  7. Erin

    What a sweet gesture from your dad and such a wonderful memory!

  8. stefanie

    What a cool story. My first Cabbage Patch Kid was a fake as well… and not a very convincing one, sadly. My “real” one (received about a year later) looked much like Patty except with light brown hair instead of red. Her name was Glenna Lenore. I hated the name, but it’s the one she came with, and I couldn’t call her something that wasn’t on her adoption papers! Surely you understand. 🙂

  9. cheeky

    Sweet tribute to your dad.

    The things that we don’t understand or cannot truly appreciate when we are young always seem to be the fondest and most cherished moments when we grow up and look back, and can say “Ah, get it!” Thoughfulness and attention go a long way and I’m certain you will give the same when you become a parent.

    I just unpacked a Cabbage Patch of mine from childhood. Funny you should pay tribute to yours. She’s also not “the real deal” but I loved her the same.

  10. sognatrice

    G, probably one of the best things to come from moving to another country and slowing down is having the time to evaluate all those little memories from childhood now that I’m an adult and understand things more. It’s weird to feel like you know your family more now that you’re away from them, but that’s what’s happened to me. Obviously that comes with age, too, but the distance encourages reflection methinks.

    Erin, glad you liked the story 🙂

    Stefanie, sounds like my Dyann Sabrina and your Glenna Lenore were twins–I mean, each with their own special features, of course. And sadly, I completely get why you couldn’t choose a different name. Interestingly enough, a few years after I got Dyann, I met my lifelong friend Dyan–how weird is that?

    Cheeky, it’s so funny how many of us had the fake ones and loved them. You have to wonder that if most kids these days would accept a fake version of the real thing with such love; I would hope so, of course, but I have to say I’m so proud of our generation for adopting wanna-bes and still writing about them fifteen years later 😉

    Can I also say how happy that CPK on my front page makes me every time I see her? I’m going to have to get my dad to send my babies I think….

  11. Caroline in Rome

    I’m not sure the Frenchman would bother with all that for the Bambina. But he did buy her an antique Alpha Romeo the day she was born, which she will get when she turns 18.

  12. a far away friend

    What a nice post for Father’s Day!! I can’t believe your dad did all that for you. Great memory!!!! My first and only Caggabe Patch Doll was “an intercepted” shipment to a foreign country. The adoption papers were in another language, so they never got completed, which means I never got a birthday card for my doll. Funny, we were all just talking about these dolls last week.

  13. sognatrice

    Caroline, Alfa Romeo=love. I think that’s pretty obvious 😉

    Friend, that’s too funny about the adoption papers! Even funnier is that if this happened today, you could just go online and get translations immediately. It *is* weird that you were talking about these dolls recently though. Great minds 🙂

  14. Kristen

    What an especially treasured memory. Your dad sounds like he was great!

  15. Karina

    You know…I was wondering how a story about your Cabbage Patch doll was going to relate to Father’s Day. haha…

    What a great memory, and wonderful tribute to your dad!

    I never had a CPK, but I actually didn’t like them, I thought they were ugly. I actually think they’re kind of cute now though, go figure!

  16. sognatrice

    Kristen, yeah, my dad isn’t so bad–I think I’ll keep him 😉

    Karina, I definitely went round about on that one, which is why I thought I’d finish off with the Corvette to masculine up the post a bit. I have to admit, I find the CPK *much* cuter now than I did as a kid. Guess they grow on you…hah! Grow…cabbage patch…ahem.

  17. Catherine

    Ah Cabbage Patch Dolls. I too started out with a homemade doll, and eventually got two “real” ones. The WERE expensive!

  18. Aimee

    Oh how cute! I love that you had a Patty doll. 🙂 I totally remember the CPK craze, and how much my folks must have gone through to get me that first doll. I may have to take a photo of my dolls for my blog now that you have me thinking about them.

  19. sognatrice

    Catherine, more love for the homemaders! Woohoo!

    Aimee, I have to admit, I’ve been thinking more and more about those Kids lately. I’m definitely going to ask my dad to dig them out. Regressing is fun!

  20. Blame It on Paris

    Do you know what I love? When we were kids, it seemed as if “all the other kids” were getting the real Cabbage Patch. But all the comments here make it obvious that so many people have the same memories of getting a homemade one. I think they were $80 or something, which back then was an extraordinary price for a doll. I was actually not into dolls, but my mother made one (in the end maybe two?) for my sister that she loved.

    I love the story about your dad. The wonderful things parents do…

  21. notary public

    Hi! I love this doll collection! It just allows you to reminisce the “child” within you, full of fun and challenges and yet just lovin the memory of it! Thanks for posting and keep it coming! Have a nice day. 🙂

  22. sognatrice

    NP, glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

  23. BecsLifeOnline

    One of the teachers in my old high school looks like a cabbage patch doll. I mean REALLY looks like one. I wish I had a pic of her to show you!

  24. sognatrice

    Bec, I would *love* to see that. Research purposes, of course 😉

  1. [...] perfectly appropriate that my dad’s 60th birthday falls on a Thursday . . [...]...
Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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