Bette Slag

I was the only girl on both sides of my family. So, although I was very much a "tomboy" who really preferred less girly toys, every birthday and Christmas I received at least one doll that I rarely played with and (as an only child) kept pristinely in it's original box. I always had much more fun running and playing with neighborhood boys than I did sitting quietly with any of my pretty dolls... until Betsy.

One Christmas, when I was probably around six years old, things changed.

Santa brought me my rubber drink-and-wet doll, Betsy Bows (that was the name I called her, but now I think she was actually a Betty Bows Doll). Betsy was a rough and tumble sort of doll that could actually go places! Unlike my more "frilly" dolls, she could be placed into water and come out looking just as good - or better - than before her bath.

On top of everything else, I quickly realized that a hole in her molded hair (for placing bows) allowed her to pee through her head! I could give her a bottle of water and then, while tipping her upside down, squeeze her tummy to allow the water to escape out through the hole in her hair curl.

What a great doll!

I continued to receive other dolls for years after, but the only one I enjoyed playing with was Betsy. She was the only doll I asked my wonderful grandmother to sew doll clothes for. Sewing clothes for another doll, unless the doll was Betsy's size, would have been a waste of time - I only played with Betsy Bows.

I can still remember coming home from school and having my mother tell me that she had given Betsy to a neighbor girl whose house had been destroyed in a fire. Colleen no longer had any toys, so my mother gave her Betsy Bows! I had many dolls in perfect condition that she could have given to her, but my Mother chose Betsy because she was more worn than the others!

That wasn't was love.

Although I knew that she went for a good cause, I still miss that doll. (I sometimes wonder if that new owner still has her.)

I now have a seven-month-old granddaughter (I had two sons). Ms Maddie (and all other granddaughters) will someday have her own special "Betsy Bows" ...Granny Bette will make sure of it.