When LBTL was 4 or 5, probably (maybe sooner, I'm not known for my steel-trap memory), she lost a leg in a tragic accident. OK, maybe her leg just fell off, maybe one of my sisters pulled it off, I don't know. I do know that it was traumatic, I was bereft. Dad tried and tried but couldn't find a way to re-attach her leg without losing the joint's flexibility. I decided I'd rather have a one-legged baby than a doll who couldn't move one of her legs. Poor LBTL, it's so hard to be a mono-ped doll in a biped doll world. But I loved her so much it didn't matter.
I have two younger sisters so I played 'house' and with LBTL for longer than I might otherwise have done. But even after I grew out of playing with dolls, LBTL was part of my world. Most of the time she reclined gracefully on my pillow. OK, fine - most of the time she lay in a heap on my bedroom floor with my other dolls because I almost never made my bed. I still loved her.
At some point, LBTL disappeared. I suspect that my mother, who didn't necessarily appreciate her loveableness, threw her away but no one seems to know what happened to her. When I realized she was gone, I was heartbroken. I thought I'd never see LBTL again.
Years went by but I never forgot my precious LBTL and I would wax poetic about her now and then. A few years ago, Mary Alice found her on ebay (have I mentioned that MA is the best BFF in the whole world?) and surprised me with a very special gift on a very ordinary Tuesday. So now my sweet LBTL (well, a two-legged clone of my own) is home again. She reclines gracefully on the guest bed pillow...unless I have guests, when she and her compatriots are unceremoniously shoved under my bed. Because that's where there's room, not because I'm ashamed of her - who could ever be ashamed of a doll with such a sweet face and jointed limbs?
I love her still, she makes me smile. Did you have a special toy that makes you happy even now?