So as Charlie shared with you in her last post, Mama had informed us that a new cousin was coming to stay with us sometime this week. And just this morning, she told us that it would be today specifically. As you can imagine, we were on pins and needles all day long!! :} Hayden decided to stay with us so she wouldn't miss the excitement.
The day seemed to crawl by, and all the while we wondered who she would be...
"I wonder if it's Saige?" Hayden guessed. She had told us about her photo shoot with Saige on Mama's blog.
"That could be," I mused. "Mama did say that she thought Saige was probably our cousin."
"Just one problem," Charlie pointed out from her spot by the bed, where she was petting Rontu. "Saige lives with Grandmama, and I think they're pretty attached. I can't imagine Grandmama wanting to send her over here."
She had a point. It looked like we were back to guessing. I wondered when on earth our cousin would get here. It was already afternoon and still there was no sign of her.
Hayden directed her attention to my new little Eiffel Tower that Mama had found me. Charlie continued to pet her dog.
I gave a long sigh. "I HATE waiting," I complained. "I don't see how you two can be so patient!"
"To be honest, I'm not in any rush to meet her," Charlie confessed. "I hope she doesn't have too much stuff or anything. We just got this room the way we want it! I don't see how we're going to fit another doll in here."
From behind Charlie, someone cleared her throat.
Charlie went pale. A guilty expression covered her face as she slowly turned.
And there stood our cousin, looking quite familiar.
I was shocked. "Piper?" I squeaked. I thought Mama had said we had a "new" cousin!
A pleasant laugh that sounded like tinkling bells escaped from the doll in front of us. "No," she said cheerfully, "but I can understand your confusion. I'm Piper's twin sister, Alice."
A twin sister? I wanted to steal a glance at my sisters and see if they had any idea about this beforehand, but I didn't want to make Alice uncomfortable.
Apparently my sisters were just as stunned as I was, because there was a rather awkward silence for a minute or two.
Alice seemed unaware of any strangeness on our part. "Do you mind if I put my bag down?" she asked.
I shook my head wordlessly, and she plopped her cute blue purse on the bed next to Rontu.
Well, it was cute except for the odd buttons on the front. One was red and said, "Keep calm and don't blink", and the other one had a guy with some pretty wacky hair that said, "Trust me, I'm the Doctor".
As Pi-I mean, Alice backed away, I noticed that she had a necklace like the rest of us. I didn't recognize the pictures on it, though.
I think Alice caught me staring, because she gave me an amused smile. "Alice Ellison, cousin of the Hathaways, sister of Piper and Ruthie, and confirmed sci fi geek." She winked, then corrected, "That is, some sci fi. I'm a huge Doctor Who fan, and my two favorite movies are 'Alice' and 'Tin Man'. They were sci fi miniseries that were retellings of 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'The Wizard of Oz'. They're on my necklace charms...see?"
And she leaned forward so we could take a look.
I think I said something like, "Oh," or "That's nice". To be honest, I was just trying to get used to having such a bubbly, mischievous personality coming from someone who looked exactly like quiet, demure Piper. And sci fi? That was a new one! No one here liked sci fi that I knew of. Maybe she could get Maggie and Rachel on the bandwagon, but I sure wasn't interested.
Just then, Mama came in. "How's it going, girls?" she asked us.
"Good," I managed with a smile. "We're all pretty surprised...we didn't know Piper had a twin!"
Mama laughed. "I just found out a little while ago myself," she admitted. "I think you guys will have a lot of fun getting to know her."
Alice shared a special smile with us that my sisters returned...and I think I did, too.
"Well, I just came in to rearrange a few things so we can fit Alice's dresser in here."
And without another word, she got to work. She moved our toy bin, my Lalaloopsy house, and Charlie's Woody guitar over to the place where Alice had just been standing.
Then she plopped a blue plastic dresser in the other corner. (Oh dear, I just realized when I looked at this picture that we never turned our calendar over to June! :} How embarrassing!)
Alice grinned from ear to ear when she saw her dresser. "Perfect! My favorite color!"
Mama smiled and dropped a few things on the bed. "Well, I'll leave you to get settled in." She looked at the rest of us. "You girls help her out if she needs anything, all right?"
We nodded, and Mama left the room.
Alice immediately began going through the pile, taking things one at a time and placing them carefully on her dresser. We all gave her room and watched.
She beamed as she lifted a fish tank into her arms. "Hey girls," she cooed softly. "How are you?"
"You have pet fish?" Charlie exclaimed excitedly. "How cool!"
"Yep," Alice replied as she gingerly set the fish tank down. "These are my fishies, Donna and Martha. They're pretty nifty."
I thought "Donna" and "Martha" were kind of weird names for fish, definitely not your typical names like "Nemo" or...I don't know...whatever else people or dolls name their fish.
Next, Alice picked up a very pretty Madame Alexander doll with blonde hair and a blue dress. It looked like...
"Isn't that Alice in Wonderland?" Hayden was quicker than I was.
Alice nodded. "I'm actually not really a fan of Alice in Wonderland," she confided. "But I really liked the sci fi version of it. I totally had a crush on Hatter. Plus, it was cool because in that version, Alice had dark hair like mine."
She looked down at her Alice doll. "Mama gave this to me as a sort of welcome gift, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that Alice in Wonderland isn't really something I enjoy. It was really sweet of her, though. And now when I look at her, I can think of my favorite version of Alice."
I was impressed with Alice's sensitivity. Mama's feelings would most likely have been hurt if Alice had admitted her true feelings.
"Aha, here it is!" Alice suddenly exclaimed, holding up what looked like a blue rectangular box with a little knob on the top. "My TARDIS! I was hoping it had made it here okay."
My sisters and I exchanged a look. "Your...what?" I asked her.
"My TARDIS," Alice replied. "It stands for 'Time and Relative Dimension in Space'," she added in a matter-of-fact manner, as if this was something dolls discussed every day.
It was like she was speaking a different language.
Seeing our confusion, she put the TAR-thingee on her dresser and said, "It's from Doctor Who, that show I was telling you about."
"Doctor Who?" Hayden asked blankly.
Alice looked horrified. "You guys haven't heard of it? AT ALL?"
"I think Mama's mentioned it once or twice," I said, "but we've never watched it."
"Well, we'll have to do something about that!" Alice said with a grin.
"We should probably talk to Mama about it first," Hayden offered timidly. "Mama's pretty strict about what we watch."
Alice nodded as if her earlier obsessiveness was no big deal. "Okay, sounds good to me." Then she spied the last few remaining objects on the bed.
"Oh good! These got here too!" she said happily, swooping up the first two figures. "You can't have a TARDIS without a Doctor!"
Then she sighed. "I do like Matt Smith, but I wish I could find the Tenth Doctor, too." She looked over at us. "Ten is my favorite."
Without waiting for a response, she held up the other figure. "And the Doctor always has to have a companion!" She turned and set the two of them on the dresser. I caught a glimpse of the redheaded figure and thought she looked a bit creepy, but I didn't dare say anything about it.
Charlie leaned over to me and whispered, "Why am I suddenly thinking of the part in 'Finding Nemo' when Squirt is explaining to Marlin and Dory how to escape the current? You know, where Marlin says, 'It's like he's trying to speak to me, I know it!' All this Doctor Who stuff might as well be a different language. Does any of it make sense to you?"
I shook my head but then put a finger to my lips. I didn't want Alice to hear. Then it struck me that I could barely remember what part Charlie was talking about. And then my eyes wandered over the room to see all of the various obsessions we had. "Tangled", "Beauty and the Beast", Pixar movies, "Emma" by Jane Austen, and now "Doctor Who". Hayden was no better with her "Aladdin" and "My Little Pony" stuff. Come to think of it, all of us dolls were pretty obsessive. I felt a smile on my face. Alice would fit right in, even if we didn't understand what on earth she was talking about.
"And of course," she was saying, "Eleven has to have his River Song and a Dalek to battle with."
She added the last two figures to the dresser and stood back to see her handiwork. She must have liked what she saw, because she gave a little nod of approval.
She turned to find us all watching her. A rather sheepish smile covered her face. "And now you probably all think I'm a complete nutcase!" For the first time since her arrival, she looked insecure.
And right then and there, I knew that I liked this new cousin of ours. She wasn't exactly what I'd been expecting, and it was going to take a while for me to get used to Alice's interests and opinions rather than Piper's, but she seemed like a lot of fun. I laughed a little. "Well, Alice, if you're a nutcase, then you'll fit in with all the rest of us."
My cousin gave a big sigh of relief, and the last of her hesitation melted away. "So," she beamed, "who'd like to hear more about Doctor Who? Or maybe Alice, or Tin Man?"
Oh dear. What had we gotten ourselves into? ;)