Vaughn Mort

Just before Christmas, 1984, the first holiday season of my Child Care career, the second of Cabbage Patch Kids, I started thinking about adopting. I wasn’t too worried, after all, 1983 had been the Year of the Cabbage Patch Christmas Riots. Surely, Coleco had manufactured enough of them this year to meet the growing demand.

Oh, sorry. You didn’t think I meant to adopt a real child, did you?

“Buy your son a doll?” You. Skeptical.
“Sure. How better to practice being a good daddy?” Me

Maybe the reason so many men show so little interest in hands-on baby care is that they absorbed the message that caring for children was “women’s work” when they weren’t allowed to play with dolls.

That wasn’t going to be my son.

The Christmas he was one, Brylan received a baby doll he’d promptly named Jason and loved every bit as much as most little girls love their baby dolls. More than some. (We hadn’t met Hannah yet. She hated baby dolls from infancy. If you put one near her, she’d freak.)

Brylan, on the other hand, was a devoted dad. He fed Jason and bathed him, told him stories and took him to bed. Carried him around at home, took him along when we left the house. For years. But the Christmas he was two, I took it into my head that he needed to experience having a toddler, too.

Coleco hadn’t learned their lesson well. I looked in all the obvious cabbage patches — Toys R Us, Sears, Fedco — but I couldn’t find a little boy Cabbage Patch Kid anywhere. Because of course I had decided Brylan should have one who looked like him.

As Christmas neared, I started looking in less obvious cabbage patches (financially-impaired parent speak for “more expensive stores”) and finally, in a little boutique toy store called The Apple Box, in a touristy bayside mall called Seaport Village, I found Vaughn Mort.

Not Vaughn Mort, but looks almost exactly like him if VM had a tooth. Vaughn Mort now lives in the attic and wishes not to be disturbed. Who am I to impose?

His “adoption fee” was twice that of normal CP Kids.

And right next to him was the most adorable redheaded girl Cabbage Patch Kid.

I don’t know what brain-altering chemical fumes rose from their little vinyl faces, but I thought they might be twins. How could I take one and not the other? When I walked out of The Apple Box, I had adopted Vaughn Mort and his “sister” Glennis Adelle.

They never held as cherished a spot in Brylan’s heart as Jason did. Or as they did in mine. I suspect I really got them for myself. But I only played with them when Brylan and Jason were sleeping, and I always made them sleep in their own cradle when I went to bed.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit now that I had succumbed to the power of Madison Avenue. But not nearly as embarrassing as leaving McDonald’s without buying anything, and heading for a different Mickey D’s because this particular Golden Arches didn’t have the right Miss Piggy toy in their Happy Meal — the only toy missing from the set Brylan had been collecting one-piece-a-week for weeks.

That was embarrassing.

Have you ever indulged your child — or yourself — in any of the fads that work their magic on the toy market from time to time? It’s a power He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named could only dream of.

Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

11 thoughts on “Vaughn Mort”

  1. Oh, this took me right back. We had Boyce Adolf (but called Boyce, for obvious reasons!). Son had a little toy doll called Keith with a soft body. He played with him, and he was in a TV programme as a baby and they gave him the doll used to set up the lighting cameras, he played with that, too. We didn’t let either child have McDonalds, but if there was a set of toys you could buy them – they only cost 20pence or so, we did that quite often – went in and asked to buy the toy, and you could then get any one you wanted. That’s a tip! ~Liz

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Liz! Thanks for sharing your memories. Mc Donald’s was our Friday night treat when I was a single parent earning a living as a child care provider — you’d think I’d know better! Lol! I applaud you for not allowing it in your children’s lives, but after providing a week of hot breakfasts and lunches for 6-9 children, I welcomed it as much as my son did. Shame on me! 🙂 I never thought to ask for just the toy. The worst was finding they had run out before we got there. Fortunately, that was decades ago. I can’t even remember the last time I was there.

      What kind of show was your son in? Do you have it on tape for him to see now?


  2. Yes, I’ve indulged my kid, unfortunately and embarrassingly. He wanted a particular Captain America action figure, so I spent a lot more money than I should have, even though I knew all along he was going to play with it for a short period of time. As he grew older, he became less interested in such things, as long as he had a basketball.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our son had a cabbage patch doll named Roy. He never got attached to him. BUT he LOVED dogs.. There was this special little toy store in town that carried these ridiculously priced stuffed animals that looked very much like real dogs. Our son loved them. He had so many it’s embarrassing. I can’t help but smile about this now…so many years later.. We more than indulged on this one. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes! We have Vivi. When he was little we rented an apartment that did not allow dogs. As soon as we moved we rescued our Vivi. She’s been with us for 6 years now.
        To try to pacify him and his want for a dog we got him a goldfish and then a hamster….and then a guinea pig. LOL We loved them all but they were no dog! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re right about that! Not even a cat, and we love cats! We always had at least one indoor cat, along with fish, birds, and a series of hamsters. He loved them all, but after he moved out on his own, he rescued two dogs — a brother and sister. First dogs I ever loved.

          Liked by 1 person

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