My little brother Christian had a bit of a disappointment since I last posted. We were playing hide and seek again. I was hiding behind a bedpost, but was peeking out every now and then so I could check on Christian's progress. Christian was getting closer, and there was a very determined look on his freckled face. Sven followed close behind. Christian had already found him.
Christian was just passing the bureau, but he must've heard a noise because he stopped suddenly and turned his head. "Elsa?" he asked as he stared into the shadows between the bureau and the wall. Sven moved forward, poked his nose into the shadows and sniffed. I immediately went into 'big sister mode'. If there was someone, or something, hiding in the shadows I didn't want Christian and Sven to face it alone.
"Christian, wait!" I called as I left my hiding place and hurried over to join him and Sven. Christian turned when he heard my voice. "Elsa?" he asked when he saw me. "But if you were over there, who's over here?"
I reached Christian's side and tried to peer into the shadows. I had to stare over the top of Sven's head, since he was still trying to shove his nose into the gap between the bureau and the wall. I was worried that Sven would get stuck, and was about to try and coax him back when I heard a faint whimper coming from the shadows. Whoever had made the noise sounded frightened, and that had me worried. I knew the most common reactions to fear are running away or lashing out. And being the protective big sister I am, I was worried that whoever was in the shadows would feel threatened and end up hurting Sven or Christian. So I tried to calm down whoever it was.
"It's alright, we won't hurt you," I said in a reassuring tone. Then I rested my hand on Sven's neck. "Sven, come on now, get out of there," I said. Sven took one more sniff before letting me direct him away from the gap. I kept my hand on Sven's neck, to hold him back if necessary and said, "You can come out now, it's alright."
Slowly, a little girl doll stepped out of the shadows. Her blond hair was arranged in a single braid, and her eyes were wide with apprehension. Her dress was teal and lilac with sheer sleeves, and the skirt was covered with netting and glitter. She reminded me a little of Christian, in terms of height and scale.
The moment Christian saw her, her rushed forward. "Elsie!" Christian shouted as he threw his arms around her and hugged her. When Christian let go, words started tumbling out of his mouth. "You got your dress back. Treesa saved it. Is Annie here too?"
The little girl doll took one look at Christian, her eyes still wide, and burst into tears. Dolls can't shed actual tears, but they can cry. And this little girl doll was wailing. I moved away from Sven and hurried over. "It's alright. It's ok," I said, trying to comfort her. Christian looked hurt. "What's wrong?" he asked. The little girl doll's chin quivered as she said, "You were mean to me and Little Anna before! You pulled our braids and said we had girl cooties! And Little Sven chased us all the time! Just go away!"
At first Christian didn't understand. I guessed what had happened before the little girl doll even stopped talking, but only because I knew Christian and Sven well enough to know they would never hurt anyone. Christian is too well mannered to even think about pulling another doll's hair. And while Sven can be overly playful at times, he would never deliberately scare anyone.
I turned to Christian, to explain to him what I thought had happened. But then I saw his expression change when he realized the truth. "You're not Elsie," he said, his voice heavy with disappointment. "You just look like her."
Just then Treesa appeared. "Nora, what are you doing over here?" Treesa asked. The little girl doll, Nora, sniffled and said, "I got lost." Treesa leaned towards Nora, then she noticed me and Christian and Sven. "I see you met Elsa's family," Treesa said. She sounded a little nervous. I think she was worried how Nora and Christian would react to seeing each other for the first time. From what I had already seen and heard, it was something that Treesa had good reason to be concerned about.
Nora quickly confirmed Treesa's fears. "You never said Little Kristoff was here!" Nora said. "You said dolls here are nice!" Treesa knelt down on the bedroom carpet, most likely so she would be closer to Nora's eye level. The Treesa said, "Nora, I know this is hard to understand, but Christian isn't the Little Kristoff doll you knew before. When factories make dolls, they make a lot of the same doll, so that lots of people can have one. There are a lot of dolls that look like Little Kristoff, but not all of them are mean."
Nora still seemed nervous, so Treesa tried to reassure her again. "This is Christian," Treesa said, gesturing in Christian's direction. "He was called Kris at his old home. And this is his big sister Elsa. Elsa, Christian, this is Elsinore. I call her Nora for short. Her first owner called her Little Elsa."
I took a small step closer and said, "It's nice to meet you Nora." Nora still seemed a little afraid, but she didn't back away. Treesa turned to Christian. "Aren't you going to say hello, Christian?" Treesa asked. I don't think Christian had gotten over his disappointment yet, but he politely said, "Hello." Then he said, "I'm sorry I scared you."
"Scared her?" Treesa asked, understandably confused.
"Christian thought that Nora was his old friend Elsie." I explained. Treesa quickly apologized. "I'm sorry Christian," she said. "I was going to tell you and Elsa that Nora was here. But I just got her and I didn't expect her to wander off."
Nora looked like she might start crying again. "I'm sorry!" she said. Treesa noticed how upset Nora was and said, "It's ok Nora. It's not your fault. I'm not mad at you." Treesa gave Nora a reassuring smile, then said, "I know, how about I take you to meet some of my other Disney doll families. Would you like that? I'll be with you the whole time if you get scared." Nora sniffled again, then nodded. Treesa reached down and gently picked her up. Then Treesa carried Nora to another part of the room.
Christian and Sven and I didn't see much of Nora after that. At least, not until Petite Merida came. But that's a story for another day. This post has been in draft form for too long already, because it was so emotionally difficult to write. I kept seeing Nora's scared little face in my mind, or remembering how Christian felt when he realized that Nora wasn't Elsie. But these things have a way of working themselves out, one way or another. And while Nora and Christian still act uncertain around each other, things have gotten better. Having Merida in the house brought its' own challenges, but I'll save that story for another post. Until then, I wish you the best.
Love From Elsa