Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | September 18, 2007


The other day I was walking though what is left of our sad garden.  Loren had plowed under much of it a few weeks back but there was a small patch left so I wandered that way to see if there was anything worth a photograph.  I found this cabbage …


It isn’t a cabbage that we will eat since it stopped growing, but it reminded me of Cabbage Patch Kids.  The image of the commercial advertising the new craze of the 80’s decade flashed in my mind.  The dolls were supposed to have been grown in a cabbage patch and you were needed to adopt them and give them a home.  I had never witnessed with my own eyes a cabbage plant … we were raised in the city.  The first time that I saw a cabbage plant was last summer and I was so surprised at how they grew and again I remembered the Cabbage Patch Kids.  It only took 20 plus years for me to make sense of the idea behind the dolls.  Ha. 

Ok so everyone remembers Cabbage Patch Kids … well, at least anyone raised in my generation.  They are still around today … with growing hair and all sorts of odd additions, but ours were the originals.  There was a time when people were stealing them from each other in the department stores before Christmas.  Much like the Elmo craze a few years back.   I had a fake Cabbage Patch Kid that mom made … she made lots of them one Christmas.  I was content with her since most of the kids I played with had homemade ones too.  Eventually though my sister and I got “real” Cabbage Patch Kid dolls.  I can’t recall the year, but I remember clearly how and when we received our dolls.   We were a little bit older then the average Cabbage Patch Kid recipient but we still hoped for them. 

I wrote the other day about how our family worked in concessions throughout most of our pre-teen and teen years.  One of the parts of concessions involved cleaning the equipment.  Often we would clean the following day since we were tired and dirty from working all day and it was generally on a Monday.  My sister and I had the job this particular day to clean the concession van.  The van was a lot of work because it was big and we had lots of areas to clean.  The van held lots of yummy treats but also lots of sticky ones.  We would clean and clean … making sure that everything sparkled. 

My dad was a stickler for a clean van.  As an adult I know why … sticky stuff left for too long can create lots of problems with insects and etc.  So we worked hard until we felt that the job was done.  I remember that Mom and Dad were at K-Mart shopping while we were cleaning and it was the plan to be finished by the time that they arrived home.   Finished with our job we went back to normal play and activities. 

When my parents arrived home they said that they were going to check the van … this was always a little nerve racking because Dad had a way of always finding something that needed improvement, but confident in a job well done we went to the van and stood through the inspection.  It looked like we were in the clear as he checked the old maid tray under the popcorn popper; which thankfully was emptied, there were no streaks on the windows, the counters were clean and the floor was spotless.  I was confident that we passed the inspection.

Until … until Dad said “did you clean the freezer?”.  The freezer?, when do we ever need to clean the freezer I thought.  I said “ummm … yeah, I cleaned it”.  He said “well, let’s take a look”.  So of course I did not clean the freezer!  That would be silly.  I knew that I would be in trouble for not only not cleaning it, but for lying about it …  but I bravely (with my eyes shut) opened it up … waiting for the sound of disappointment for lying and not cleaning the freezer I heard my sister scream a shrill of delight.  Not expecting a scream of any kind, I opened my eyes and found our Cabbage Patch Kids!  Those huge green and yellow boxes were a welcomed sight!   We were excited.  Immediately we rescued them from the freezer and checked their names … that was part of the appeal of the dolls is that they came already named!  Mine was named Christian Nigel … I have never forgotten his name, which is strange because I can’t remember where I put the car keys!  I have no idea what my sister’s dolls name was but I remember what he looked like with his dark short hair and sports wear attire.  But Christian Nigel was mine, and he was cute.  He had curly tan hair and cute brown over-alls with a bear on the front.  

The adoption papers made him mine.   When you opened your doll there were papers that you needed to fill out and mail in so that you could receive your “official” adoption papers.  I dutifully filled out the paper work and mailed them off like any good new adoptive mother would do. 

I uncovered the adoption papers in a pile of “old stuff” in my life box while I was looking for Christian Nigel … I could have sworn I still had him but he is nowhere to be found.  At least I had the papers … that was something.  The papers however revealed the truth about my so-called commitment to my new son. 


 They are un-signed.  Un-signed!  What kind of mom was I?  Couldn’t even sign the paper work.  And I missed his birthday which was on Sept. 1st.  I have no idea how old he would be since I didn’t bother to sign and date my papers. 


The instructions on the Official Adoption Certificate read:

Oath of Adoption

In front of another person, raise your right hand and say:

“I promise to love my Cabbage Patch Kid with all my heart.  I promise to be a good and kind parent.  I will always remember how special my Cabbage Patch Kid is to me.”

Then you are supposed to sign it, write your age, have your witness sign, and date it. 


Oops!  I am a little disappointed that I didn’t follow through on the paperwork because it would be nice to have the info on age and etc.  Huh … I suppose that I lost my commitment to young Christian Nigel by the time that I got the papers.  So maybe I didn’t lose my doll after all … there is a good chance that Christian Nigel skipped on down to the cabbage patch to find his real mother since I had failed him.   Well, wherever he is, I remember him with much affection.  I have a feeling that every year that I pick cabbage (assuming that it grows) I will fondly remember the days of my youth and my excitement that day when I found young Christian Nigel not in a cabbage patch but in the freezer! 



  1. Too bad Christian Nigel is nowhere to be found. I wonder if I have him amongst my many dolls? But I doubt I would have stolen him. What a great story and wonderful memory. You dad knows how to present a gift!

  2. Thanks to G’ma Bev I had homemade ones too! And then, one perfect christmas, I received not one but TWO cabbage patch kids! Thier names were Amanda & Christopher. I think everyone who waited (over a year – maybe even two) remembers thier CPK’s name. Thankfully, I’ve kept better track off my kids now than I did then – the six-foot security fence helps…
    Take Care!

  3. Um…. I am not sure if I should tell you this, but remember those holes we used to dig in the back yard?

    Turns out you can’t grow new dolls that way.


    J/K ;)

  4. Very funny, Dave:) I still have to check upstairs tonight to make sure I don’t have the little cabbage sprout.

  5. Mom … as I was recalling the story in my mind it was so clear … sorta fun when I remember a story. ha. I am pretty sure that Christian Nigel is lost forever, I have no idea where he would be since he isn’t here. I don’t think that he even made it to the apartment.

    Bethany … isn’t that so amazing how we remember their names. Makes me laugh. Remember how goofy the faces were on the fake ones?, those long wierd noses. They weren’t very cute, but they were fun at the time.

    David … funny. But I was digging to China … I really thought that if I worked hard enough I could do that. Why I thought China was right below our house I will never know.

  6. I remember buying Carrie and Rachel Cabbage Patch kids…one was a redhead named Millie (Carrie’s) and Rachel’s was blonde…but that’s all I remember. I might have gotten them for the other kids…should I be able to remember this stuff?? Oh no…CRS is setting in already! :| I feel so young, too…. :(

  7. Jeri … oh Millie that is a cute name. There were some pretty strange names if I recall. I don’t know that remember all the toys you purchased for 6 children is really expected. I think the fact that you remember Millie is something to be proud of. :)

  8. Mine, when I finally got a real one (about two years after I really wanted one), was April Nicolette.

    I also had a homemade one . . .but get this. My grandma made homemade ones for all the granddaughters, some of the granddaughters got ones with the fake CPK head (that plastic one) and some got ones with heads that grandma made out of cloth. I had a cloth-headed one. So then, when I got my real CPK, I felt so bad for the old one because she was so unfortunate, I always felt like I had to play with them equally.

  9. I remember going to Ben Franklin and buying all the stuff to make Cabbage Patch kids. I made one one for Krisanne and I and then made little outfits for them. Just before you moved into the house I know Mom was asking me what to do with them so who if you find them stashed somwehere there, that is why. I think they were both girl dolls. I desperately wanted a real one, but ended up loving a counterfeit one. :)

  10. For some reason, I’m wondering if it wasn’t us that bought the cabbage patch dolls for the girls or if it was your parents, Steph…hmmmm. Mary, do you remember??

  11. I don’t know if you mean we bought the dolls for YOUR girls or you bought the dolls for ours. I remember going to K-Mart and getting dolls for our girls when they were less expensive and nobody was fighting over them anymore. If we also bought them for your girls, I haven’t a clue. It’s possible I’m sure:) I would like to believe I could be nice sometimes.

  12. Okay………Jerald Ballard was my boys name. I did have it signed, my witness was Mom, on 10-17-86, I was 14, that makes you around 12 or 13….guess I was the better Mom…….although I have not heard from Jerald for a long time, he is turning 13 soon, as my certificate says he was born November 1st, 1985 dang teenagers! I am sure that Christian forgave you, good thing he has that name…………..thanks for the fun my sister!

  13. OH MY Jerald is 23! Shame on me.

  14. * so my time was off on the blog so some of the responses are not showing up in the right order … but it is correct now so this should be the only day that they are wierd.

    How fun that everyone has such great memories of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Apparently it was pretty common to have the “fake” ones.

    Diane … A cloth head huh? I sorta remember seeing those ones before. I wonder how we got to be so special that we got the real heads. You were obviously a great CPK mom since you loved your fake one and your real one equally.

    Josie … oh that would be so cool if I could find those dolls! I think that I have pretty much cleaned out ever nook and cranny but never came across those! That would have been a fun find. :) Oh well.

    Teresa … how fun that you have your papers too! I can’t believe that yours are signed … that makes it even worse that mien aren’t. Ha. So our little Cabbage Patch Kids would be 23! Oh man … it’s official … we are OLD! :) Jerald Ballard is a pretty odd name … Ballard? … goofy.

    Mom and Jeri … No idea … chances are good we will never know who bought them. Ha.

  15. I meant for our girls…at least Rachel…but it’s probably not important! :D

  16. […] fall and just had to get them after our trip down memory lane last month with my post about “cabbage“. She thought that they would enjoy life on the […]

  17. My daughter was born in 1982. I think she was around 2 or so when these dolls came out and unbelievably she was totally aware that they existed…thanks to Saturday morning cartoons! Anyway, if I remember correctly the very first dolls issued did have cloth faces and were hand sewn. The kits came next and after all the fighting in the stores and the demand they had to come up with a faster way to produce them, hence the plastic heads. I had to buy my tiny daughter a knock-off the second year they were out (with plastic heads) and she had no clue until a neighbor girl came over and told her it was fake! I could have clobbered that girl…grrrr! My daughter loved it anyway. The third year…she got a real one. Always was a day late and a dollar short LOL!!

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