Recently there have been several articles in the news about fake babies, a Japanese phenomenon that apparently has caught on here and in Britain, especially among older childless women.
Some women dress the dolls, wash their hair, take them for walks in strollers and take them shopping.
One woman in the BBC documentary, married and in her 40s, said she wanted a real baby, but was too busy to commit to caring for a real one. A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess. Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It's just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don't move.”
Of course this is very silly, grown women playing with dolls and pretending they are real children. All the wonder and joy of babies is in their being, their expressions, especially newborns- the satisfaction you can see on their faces when they poop, that coy smile when they are utterly content because they have a dry nappie and a full tummy of warm milk. Before I delivered, Mary was carrying around her doll in a car seat every day, but since Sunday, the doll baby has been abandoned in the middle of the hall, replaced with an almost constant mantra, "May I hold Julia Ellen?"
Of course she may kiss her good night and good morning, help change her itsy-bisty outfits, and help give her baths. She needs all this love and attention because she is real, so very real.