When I passed on Barbie, Ken, and Skipper to Lola about a year ago, she was mainly interested in the dolls, not so much the clothes. If they were wearing clothes, she would make me take them off. And these barbies came with a ton of clothes, the vast majority handmade by my mother, my grandmother, and myself. There are some very fancy dresses in Barbie's collection, some with hand embroidered beads and sequins, all made from leftover material my mother used to make her own dresses.
Now that Lola is a little older and starting to develop strong opinions on what to wear, she wants her barbies to be nicely dressed too. Dressing a barbie is not that easy, and is often more than Lola can handle. I find myself frequently putting clothes on Barbie and taking them off again for her. I had forgotten how much of a pain that is. The pointy fingers get stuck in the sweaters, the shoes keep popping off, and fabric does not slide well over the dolls' legs.
Which is why, when Lola decided to take Barbie, Ken, and Skipper for a swim, I insisted they'd go skinny dipping. Dressing them when they're dry is hard enough, a wet barbie was something I was not prepared to deal with. Lola was fine with that. We brought out the red plastic party tub, took off their clothes, and in they went.
The party tub is a remnant of our non-running water days, of Life In The Barn. We used it for dishes and occasionally as Lola's bath tub or pool, depending on the weather. I was the garage the other day, looking at it and could not imagine my big girl once fit in that tub. It is so small. But she did.
And apparently still does...