A couple of months ago I went out to lunch with some girlfriends. We were quietly enjoying ourselves on the restaurant’s outdoor patio when an older woman (probably in her 60s) came bumbling through the gate with a double stroller and two tiny newborns inside.
She immediately caught my attention with her awkward entrance, but then I became fixated on the two precious babies who were soundly sleeping despite their bumpy ride. I also happened to notice one of the baby’s arms was unnaturally sticking out of the stroller in harm’s way. The woman kept pushing her way to a table and I was horrified thinking something might happen to the baby’s arm. Plus, where was the mother? These babies couldn’t have been more than a month old, and clearly she wasn’t their mother – perhaps the grandmother – but how often do you see tiny newborns out-and-about without their mother or father close by?
I must have been rudely staring – with my jaw on the table – because one of my friends leaned over and whispered, “Don’t worry, they’re not real.”
What the? How could those babies not be real? They wheeled right past me and I got a good look – and they sure looked real to me! But she was right. They were dolls! After this woman found a table, she pulled the double stroller up to her chair and began doting on the dolls as if they were her own. Soon an older man (her husband, I presumed) came in pushing another stroller with a slightly older child…er…doll (see picture to the left). They all sat together as if they were a family of five and proceeded to have lunch while tending to their babies.
As it turns out, the woman with the dolls creates and sells them…for as much as $2,500 a doll!!! Well, technically these dolls aren’t “bought,” they’re “adopted.” They are not referred to as dolls; she calls them “reborn babies.” And taking them out in public and treating them as real, live babies is her way of “marketing” them.
And I’m sure you’re wondering why I have pictures of these dolls and know all this information about them. Well, of course I was armed with my TMoM camera and had to ask!
Am I one of the few who have never heard about this phenomenon? Have you ever seen dolls like these? I am curious to know who buys (I mean adopts) these baby dolls. Whether you say “Wow!” or “What the?” – or both – please chime in and let me know what you know…or what you think!