Billy and Veronika brought a letter to the other dolls, who were busy in the living room.
"We have a letter from Emil!" Billy exclaimed. As the other dolls gathered around, Billy began to read.
"Dear Veronika and Cast of The Doll's Storybook," he read.
"I am so happy to read that you have chosen me to be the new boy doll for your stories. I will try very hard to do a good job."
"I'm sure he will," said Jolena." All the dolls nodded.
"Please tell Billy my name is said like eh-MEEL," Billy continued, "and thank him for asking. I get called a lot of funny things when other dolls don't know." Billy looked up from the letter and tried the new name, "Emil."
The other dolls all tried to think of how many different ways you could say Emil.
Then Billy continued reading. "Please tell Jolena my favorite food is...." Billy paused. "KWIT-chee?" Billy asked and looked at Jolena, puzzled.
Jolena looked at the letter where Billy was pointing.
Then she laughed. "That's quiche," she said, saying it like KEESH. Then she looked up. "I know how to make that. It's sort of a pie with eggs and cheese. I have several good recipes. I'll make my favorite."
Charlotte nodded. "The word is French. You don't say French words the way the letters sound in English."
"Quiche is a French recipe," Jolena added. "All my French recipes have unusual spellings, at least maybe they're usual for French, I guess."
Billy continued to read, "I enjoy pretending to eat pretty much anything, though, so tell her not to go to any trouble."
"Forget that," Jolena said. "This is the kind of trouble I like!"
Billy looked back at the letter. "Mariah asked what kind of books I like to read," he read. "Please tell her I like to read lots of things but I especially like stories about real children."
"I like stories like that, too," Mariah said.
Then Billy went on. "I am excited to tell you," he read, "that I can hear music with my special hearing aids. Please tell Charlotte my favorite song is 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm,' because I like all the animal sounds in it. I can only hear these animals for real with my hearing aids."
"I have a book of fun songs," Charlotte told them, looking up from the letter. "I'm pretty sure this song is in there."
"I am very glad that Mandy asked about my hearing aids," Billy read. "The batteries are rechargeable. All I need is an electrical outlet near the bed, because I can't see much when I take off my glasses to sleep. Someone will need to come and get me if the smoke alarm goes off during the night, but I will not need to have someone wake me up in the morning. I have an alarm clock that will shake the bed to wake me up."
"Wow!" Billy exclaimed, looking up from the letter. "An alarm clock that shakes you out of bed! What a cool invention!"
The other dolls all agreed.
"Here's how he ends his letter," said Billy, "Thank you all for choosing me," he read. "I understand from your letter that it was unanimous." Billy sounded out the word, (you-NAN-ih-mus). "That means all of you wanted me. That means a lot to me. I am excited to meet you all! Sincerely, Emil."
"We have a lot to do to get ready," Veronika said, and they did.
Billy cleaned his room and made room for Emil's clothes in the dresser and in the closet, because Emil would be sharing his room. He made sure the outlet next to the bed was easy to get to.
Jolena found her favorite recipe for quiche, and made a shopping list.
Mariah went off to the library to find books of stories about real children.
Charlotte found the music for "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and tuned her violin, so she could learn to play it.
The dolls were busy, so the next few days passed quickly. Before they knew it, Emil was standing in the front hall. The dolls all ran to the front door to greet him.
"You look like Harry Potter!" Jolena exclaimed as soon as she saw Emil.
Emil laughed. "I get that a lot," he said, "but I don't have a scar on my forehead and I can't do magic, so you know I'm just Emil." The dolls welcomed Emil. They shook hands with him and told him their names, one after another. Emil looked at each face as he shook their hands, and repeated that doll's name. He tried to remember all six names and which face went with which name. He thought about what he already knew about each one from their letter.
Billy took Emil upstairs and showed him where to put his clothes. He showed him the drawer for his underwear and pajamas. He could hang his other clothes up in the closet.
Billy helped him plug in his hearing aid charger and his special clock. Emil pushed the clock's bed shaker under the mattress. He set the alarm on the clock for when they had to get up in the morning. Then the two boys went back downstairs.
Emil looked out at the backyard. "You have a nice place to run and play," he said, "and things to climb on, and a slide, too!" he said.
"We have a nice place to run and play," Veronika corrected him. "This is your home now, too."
Emil knew it would be fun to play outdoors here.
Billy showed Emil the bicycles in the storeroom. "Two of them are girls' bikes," he said. "The girls sometimes have to ride when they're wearing dresses, so we have two girls' bikes. I don't mind riding a girl's bike, though, when we go for bike rides together."
"I don't mind, either," Emil said. "How many dolls have bicycles, even just to share?"
"We always wear helmets when we ride," Billy pointed out. "That's why we have one helmet for each bicycle."
"That's really important," Emil agreed. "I have to be careful not to damage my glasses, and the helmet helps protect them as well as my head."
Billy explained that there was also a sled and a skateboard they could share. (The sled was Billy's Christmas present, but he had learned that it's more fun to play with the sled when you take turns.)
Mariah gave Emil the books from the library, so he could read when he wanted to. They talked about the books, and he picked out which one he wanted to read first. He thought Mariah did a good job picking out books that were interesting, and he told her so.
Charlotte played "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" on her violin, while the other dolls pretended to sing. They sat on the stairs and pretended that they were an audience of real children. They had great seats in the theater.
The dolls had fun making the animal sounds. Emil thought it was nice of Charlotte to learn the song just for him. He thought about how much more fun it was to sing it with his new family.
Billy took a photo of all the dolls sitting on the stairs, so they would have something to remember the day Emil came to live with them. He set the timer and then ran to be in the photo.
Jolena made her favorite quiche recipe and salad for supper. When it came out of the oven, she put it on the table to cool while the others got ready to set the table. Emil wanted to help set the table, too, but first he paused to enjoy the delightful smell coming from the quiche.
The dolls pretended to eat the quiche that Jolena had made. It was delicious! The salad was good, too.
By the time Emil went to bed that night, he knew he was in the right place, and it made him happy. Dolls need to have a purpose, and he had found his.
Emil and Billy talked for a while about things they found interesting, until they felt sleepy. Then Emil took off his glasses and plugged them in to recharge. He had to put the end of each earpiece into each of the two holes. Billy noticed that Emil did this without looking at the charger. He used his hands to know where to put in the plugs.
Emil put on his sleep mask, and Billy turned off the light.
The last thing Emil knew before morning came and his alarm clock started shaking his bed was that he was home! His new sisters were pretty and kind. Billy was fun and helpful. Best of all, they enjoyed sharing what they had with him.
Veronika: Götz Classic Kidz Vroni
Mandy: Götz Happy Kidz Katie 2015
Jolena: Götz Happy Kidz Lena in Aspen
Charlotte: Götz Happy Kidz Anna in Paris
Mariah: Götz Happy Kidz Mariah, "Chosen" from My Doll Best Friend
Billy: Götz Happy Kidz Lily at London
Emil: Götz Happy Kidz Emilia
Note to parents: Not all hearing aids can be put in glasses. Billy's hearing loss is conductive. You can find out more about hearing loss and deafness here. Although Emil can hear the thoughts of other dolls and can communicate in the same way, real children cannot. This is one place dolls have an advantage.
Note: No dolls were harmed during production of this blog. All dolls shown are Götz Happy Kidz or Classic Kidz. If you like these stories and are willing, please make a donation of any amount to a charity that supports pediatric cancer, such as CURE Childhood Cancer or St. Baldrick's Foundation
"The Doll's Storybook" is not affiliated with Gotz Dolls USA Inc. or Götz Puppenmanufaktur International GmbH.
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Copyright © 2019 by Peggy Stuart