Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



My husband discovered WalMart this year, which means that now, post-Christmas, there’s a lot of cheap plastic in the house (all given with great love; he was excited to shower the girls with gifts) but Santa brought a few notable items, as well.

Annabelle received ZhuZhu pets (again, procured by Ray, who was smart enough to spot a trend months early — he hid them for a long time) and she’s thrilled, though I’ve already seen one of those f-ers eat a hunk of my niece’s hair and they’re a little too rat-like for my taste.

Sophie’s most pleased with the whoopie cushion Santa stuffed in the bottom of her stocking, but I’m fond of Gwen, the American Girl doll he left. Sophie requested a doll that looked just like her, and coincidentally, Gwen does (except for her brown eyes, which Sophie hasn’t noticed).

Gwen also happens to be homeless. Yes, you read that right. I’ve known about Gwen for a few months, ever since Sophie received Chrissa, American Girl of the Year, 2009. That means Chrissa comes with her own movie and storyline — she gets bullied — and friends you can buy, like Gwen, who has a side story of her own: Her family is homeless, a secret kept til the end of the movie.

When I saw the movie, I thought it was nice, if a bit contrived, that AG would do the homeless thing. Not a big deal to me. (And to be honest, Sophie’s pretty sophisticated, but she’s not going to get that one.)

But it turns out Gwen’s caused some trouble, explored in this NPR piece from earlier this year. 

Rest assured, Gwen now has a home. In fact, I wanted to photograph Sophie and her look-alike this morning, but I was informed that Gwen was asleep in Sophie’s bed and unavailable for a photo session. So I’ve posted a photo of her from the AG site.  

They haven’t announced the American Girl of the year for 2010 yet, but hints have arrived — apparently she’s “outdoorsy”. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing an American Girl with Down syndrome. Now that would be controversial.

Did you enjoy this article?
Share the love
Get updates!
Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, holidays by Amysilverman

3 Responses to “A Homeless American Girl, hair-eating ZhuZhus and a whoopie cushion.”

  1. Wow it’s uncanny how much this doll looks like Soph. Except she doesn’t posses the twinkle. At least in 2D. ;)

  2. Homelessness, rats disguised as cute things, and the feeling you’ve just sat on a whoopie. Yep, that pretty much sums up 09 for the grown ups too!

  3. there will totally be an AG doll in a wheel chair before one with any other special needs. Wheel chair kids are “safe” controversial choices for corp. America

Leave a Reply

My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.


All content ©Amy Silverman | Site design & integration by New Amsterdam Consulting