Red Babies

I discovered some important things this past weekend while visiting my brother and his family in Wisconsin. For one thing, if you decide to go fishing at high noon in July on a lake whose maximum depth is six feet, it’s not really called fishing. It’s called taking your worm for a ride.

Another thing I learned is that you should never trust an 11-year old boy’s taste in discount sodapop. Take my word for it when I tell you that Dr. Faygo and Dr. Pepper are not even distant cousins.

But my most illuminating discovery had to do with my 9-year old nephew. With my older nephew, I love spending time with him because he’s already smarter than me and we can spend hours making dioramas representing pivotal moments in the Hopi tribe’s history. But with my younger nephew, ever since he was born, I have had an uncontrollable need to squeeze him to near asphyxiation. It’s a constant struggle for me to keep my hands off his little face. I was never quite sure why, until I spotted him across the room from me wearing his little red hoodie, and suddenly it hit me. He is the spitting image of my all-time favorite doll from my childhood.

The doll my mom bought me at a flea market when I was about two years old. The doll I carried around so much that all the velvet wore off her little body. The doll my mom had to sew up dozens of times when, either from natural causes or from the cruelty of my brothers’ friends, her stuffing would come loose. The doll I named Red Baby.

Behold the indisputable evidence:

Real Red Baby:

Faygo Red Baby:

Real Red Baby:

Faygo Red Baby:

And it’s a good thing he reminds me so much of Red Baby, otherwise I might take offense when he tells me things like, “Cool, Aunt Jenny! I wish I had big fat veins in my hands like you do so I could push them in and watch them pop back up again.”

15 Responses to “Red Babies”

  1. Don Says:

    Aww. Nine year olds are so, you know. Nine.

  2. Dave2 Says:

    Red Baby… 1/3 less sheer horror than Sometimes Rabbit.

  3. claire Says:

    Red Baby’s got your left!

  4. delmer Says:

    One of my children pushes my fat veins in in an effort to kill me. Kill me slowly, they admit… and I have to be patient and wait while they do it.

    At least Faygo Red Baby hasn’t figured that out yet. (Give him time.)

  5. churlita Says:

    No. Your nephew is adorable and your old red baby is horrifying. How can you live with all of those frightening images in your world? I’d be in the fetal position, on the floor, sucking my thumb if I ever visited your house.

  6. Daily Dingle Says:

    maybe that’s why you are so drawn to the expression “hey babbbies….. “

  7. MOM Says:

    Kewpie Doll faces run in the family, right?

    MOM…chuckling at the mental picture of you and Red Baby.

  8. shari Says:

    Preach it, Churlita.

  9. Cheryl Says:

    I don’t have any nieces or nephews yet, but I can only hope that one will look like my favorite childhood toy, a green beanbag turtle named Butchy.

  10. jenny Says:

    don: so true. and nine year boys are so, you know. boys.

    dave: you just gave me the brilliant idea to craft a mini Sometimes Rabbit head for Red Baby! thanks!

    claire: you can always count on her.

    delmer: kids are evil. just plain evil.

    churlita: hey! you take that back! Red Baby is the cutest baby in the whole wide world!

    DD: no, i’m drawn to that expression because of a particularly wacky alaska airlines flight attendant. hey baaaaabies!

    MOM: it’s true, they do!

    shari: i feel like i don’t even know you anymore, shari.

    cheryl: that would be so awesome! what’s cuter than a beanbag turtle? aside from Red Baby, i mean.

  11. vahid Says:

    Is Real Red Baby even of this planet? Real Red Baby appears to be wearing some sort of self-contained Mars exploration suit. (Faygo Red Baby’s hoodie, on the other hand, would not withstand the Red Planet’s freezing temperatures, and so clearly he must be of this Earth.)

  12. Robin Says:

    Creepy doll. Cute nephew.

  13. serap Says:

    That fact that you had THAT doll since aged 2 explains a lot about your fascination with the creepy and disturbed. Your cute nephew not included of course, he is just plain cute and squeezable.

  14. jenny Says:

    vahid: Red Baby is from an alternate universe. the universe of CUTE!

    robin: is no one seeing the resemblance? they’re identical cute twins!

    serap: all right, fine. my adorable Red Baby and i are gonna pack up our toys and go home.

  15. dmarks Says:

    Faygo baby. Oh, now I need to go buy some redpop.

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