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Being a young girl who loved to play with Barbies, I learned that keeping them looking neat and getting their hair properly coiffed was an ongoing challenge.

Similarly, my daughter had a Strawberry Shortcake doll with Barbie doll attributes. This Strawberry Shortcake doll was made of the same materials, had bright red hair and moveable limbs.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when after months of play, my daughter’s Strawberry Shortcake doll’s hair was still store bought perfect.

Her tresses always remained in place and never needed combing.

Her hair even smelled like strawberries.

Then came the fateful evening when I had to attend a meeting and left my daughter and her Strawberry Shortcake Doll in the care of her father.

When I arrived home my daughter was asleep for the night.

Imagine my horror when I walked into the bathroom to find Strawberry Shortcake in the bathroom sink. Picking it up, I saw that her once perfect hair was standing straight up as if she had received the fright of a lifetime.

Through her painted on smile, I could sense her silent scream.

As hard as I tried to smooth her battered tresses, there was no calming them down.

I found my husband in the living room.

“What happened?” I asked my husband showing him the doll.

He gave me an glum look.

“That happened during potty time,” he replied.

“She accidentally dropped it,” he said with a wince.

“And…” I asked.

“You figure it out.”

The answer was now obvious.

I immediately gave the poor doll a thorough washing and shampooed her hair twice.

Needless to say, by this point, the scent of strawberries was long gone.

After combing out her squeaky clean hair I tied a wide ribbon around the doll’s head hoping through the night that her hair would dry back into place.

The next morning, I was met with unsuccessful results.

Not only was the hair a wiry mess, but she had lost her new toy sheen. Her legs and arms were difficult to move.

Nevertheless, my daughter still loved her and included her in her daily activities. It was very heartwarming to see that my daughter still played with Strawberry Shortcake like nothing had happened.

And to this day, she still fondly remembers her Strawberry Shortcake doll, imperfect hair, dull complexion, sticky joints and all.

This has been a wonderful object lesson for me.

As a her mother I am now content in the knowledge that when I get old, chances are very good that like her Strawberry Shortcake doll, my daughter will still love me and want to include me in all her daily activities…

…Even though by then, my hair will be a wiry mess,

…And my arms and legs won’t work so well,

…And I no longer smell like strawberries.