Blast from the Past: Where Babies Come From

The kids and I leave today for our epic annual road trip to Michigan where we’ll spend the rest of the summer. My niece is traveling with us, and after a whirlwind day of preparing yesterday, I proclaimed to everyone in the most shhhh-she’s-saying-something-really-important voice I could muster, “We leave the house at 8:00!” Brett poked my niece and laughed, “So, basically noon.”

In an effort to win this one, I’m whittling all the things I had planned on doing before leaving this morning down to only the most critical. So I’m repurposing a favorite blog post from last year–one that certainly stroked a lot of buried childhood memories for readers. Which–speaking of–can we stop here a moment and pay tribute to the buried past of Blockbuster Video? I was packing the relics we now refer to as DVDs to bring the other day and recalled the memory of hitting up a Blockbuster on a Friday night as a kid. And you know what? I miss it. There was something special about having to get off your butt and make the effort of driving to a video store to see a good movie. The anticipation that came from waiting. The sensory cocktail you experienced when you walked in–the candy, the popcorn, the “Coming Soon to DVD” promo video that played far above hearing specialist recommended volume from the giant TV hanging from the ceiling. All those new releases lined up in alphabetical order against the wall. We’d start at A and ever so slowly make our way around the perimeter of the store–giving extra time to the display in the middle where employees made their recommendations because we were curious to see what kind of movies “Mitch” liked (Ew, Candyman and Alien 3? You’re out, Mitch). Trying to convince my mom to rent Scent of a Woman, hoping she wouldn’t flip it over to find the rating (not a chance), and settling on The Mighty Ducks instead (whatever happened to Emilio Estevez?). Waiting in line with knots in my stomach knowing it was quite possible Mitch would scan Mighty Ducks, stare at his screen for a minute and then inform my mom that Wild Horses Can’t Be Broken was still checked out and there was currently a $23.62 fine. Yeah, Blockbuster, man. Totally miss it.

Crap. That paragraph just set my 8:00 leave time back.

With no further ado, the “Where Babies Come From” adventure from our road trip last year, originally posted July 1, 2015.

Where Babies Come From: Cabbage Patch What-the-Hell Magic
Setting: Helen, Georgia.

Our first stop in Georgia delivered gorgeous weather, a river tubing adventure and some picturesque landscape…

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…but first, Babyland General Hospital, brought to you by the I Don’t Know What the Hell portion of the trip.

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Somewhere in the mountains of Georgia on our way to Helen, a sign emerges: Babyland General Hospital THIS WAY. It has a Cabbage Patch Kid logo on it, so I did what any other 6-year-old-trapped-in-a-37-year-old’s-body would do. I held up traffic to pull a U-turn.

“We’re going to Babyland, kids. Let’s go see where Cabbage Patch Kids are born.”

“What’s a Cabbage Patch Kid?” Lainey asks. And wherever it is that dolls go to die, Glennis Willamina rolls over in her grave.

“Cabbage Patch Kids were the coolest dolls you could own when Mommy was little. I had one. Her name was Glennis Willamina.”

A side road directs us to a plot of land where we are greeted by giant stone statues of cabbages with baby heads coming out of them–don’t worry, this gets weirder–and an impressive plantation-style structure, the hospital.

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And inside? Sweet Jesus. Let’s just say they aren’t kidding around with the whole hospital thing. Nurses wearing scrubs and stethoscopes roam the facility, encouraging you to listen for announcements of “a live birth” and letting you know that all the babies in the nursery are available for adoption. I pick up a doll from one of the many cribs and take a long whiff of its plastic head.

“Oh my God, it smells exactly how I remember.” Sweet baby powder and childhood magic. “This is so weird.”

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What’s weirder is watching a live cabbage patch birth at the magic crystal tree where a whole crop of Cabbage Patch Kids are, um…photosynthesizing?

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These heads? They move. Yes, move.

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A Plus for Imagination, Xavier Roberts. In fact, I’m kind of disappointed Xavier Roberts didn’t marry Lisa Frank because can you imagine their babies? Too magical for this earth to handle, that’s for sure.

When a mother cabbage goes into labor, all are called to the tree to come cheer her on. That’s when my dad calls.

“Can’t talk. At the magic crystal tree. Cabbage is in labor. Head’s crowning. Gotta go.”

There’s an I.V. with green juice. And the nurse sterilizes the cabbage’s–er, “area” and checks to make sure the baby’s not feet first to rule out a “branch delivery.” And everyone has to yell “PUSH! PUSH!” while the nurse buries her arm down a cabbage for much longer than I was comfortable with and finally pulls out a head. Cue clapping. Cue baby’s first immunization of “imaginocilin.” Cue half the crowd tearing up from the magic of it all and half, like me, left in a cloud of WTF.

“That was the weirdest thing that I ever did see,” my friend Ragan says. I’m a little bit stunned. So I react appropriately.

“Kids, get in line. We’re adopting a baby.”

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Was it special? Indeed. Should you go to Babyland General if you’re in Cleveland, Georgia? Hell, yes. If not just to see for yourself.

(Lainey, holding her right hand up and saying her adoption pledge before filling out paperwork)

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The kids named their new baby Millie Jackie (Glennis Willamina rolls over again), and I have to admit, we’re all in love. “Mom, why do you keep smelling her head?”

She’s the real deal. Cute as a button.

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And when we’re not sniffing Millie Jackie’s head, we’re enjoying summer from the Chattahoochee River…

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It was Take Your Naked Barbie to Dinner night in Helen, Georgia this week.

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Why can’t we just have normal experiences with dolls?

Moral of the Story: The 80’s are alive and well and reside in Cleveland, Georgia. Revisit with caution.

So here’s the real question…do you remember your Cabbage Patch’s name?


Leave a Comment
  1. I had a girl named Stacy and a premie boy named Jonathan. I actually saved both dolls and got them out of the attic a few years ago when my daughter was about 5. She did not appreciate them like I did, but then again, she also did not witness their live birth from the cabbage patch. The live birth is a total game changer!

  2. So weird. My Cabbage Patch was named Alena Lenore. I still have her somewhere packed away in the basement.

  3. Whoa. My cabbage patch doll was named Glennis Andrea. My daughter still has her! I had no idea this baby doll factory existed, but now I’m pretty sure I’ll need to go!

  4. Mine was “Elva Melissa”. She was a preemie and, according to her info, wanted to be a dentist. haha

  5. Carolynne says:

    I can remember all their names and they are still in my grandma’s basement! First I had Odetta Hetti, Then cam Bettina Theodora who was a preemie. Next Was Allistair Jefferson (he had a pacifier), then were the twins Lon Nolan and Dara Coletta, and finally Mavis Goldie who was a cornsilk hair cabbage patch!

  6. This post is awesome. Died a little! My cabbage patch name was Jan Deborah (my 3 brothers pronounced her Jan The Bra). Fun memories! Thanks!

  7. Anna Whitmore says:

    Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is like my favorite movie of all time!

  8. My CPKid was named Vance Syd. What a unique experience you had!

  9. I loved my cabbage patch dolls, and I love hearing their names! Mine were Minnie Rina, Susannah Ernesta, and Quincy Fanny!!! Love it! The 80’s were awesome and now I only wish I had little girls to take on this same type of road trip (I have 4 sweet little boys)!

  10. My all time favorite blog post. I laughed just as hard today as I did the first time I read it. I’m waiting for the day my girls will be old enough to play nicely with Cecelia Roberta, who until then sleeps soundly in my cedar chest.

  11. haha it really is the weirdest place. We went when I was little and “adopted” a baby. I don’t remember all those details, but I can surely believe it.

  12. Kelly Jo says:

    Of course….Janie O’Deah (who was a newborn doll) and Tracy Hetty (the premie doll) and Frederick Carol who was the bigger doll. Loved them!!!

  13. Lani Mcneice says:

    My cabbage patch was Martin Kelly. My daughter got her own cabbage patch when they made a come back 10 years ago.

  14. Beth davis says:

    I just finished reading your book. Such a beautiful and real reflection. God bless your family. And while all of your children are adorable, Nella is just so beautiful it takes my breath away. Beth Davis – Daphne, AL

  15. Safe travels!

  16. Megan Reinbold says:

    Pamela Joy. She was a redhead with blue eyes. :)

  17. Mary McDermott says:

    I had Fredericka Elizabeth, and my sister had Daria Danielle. We got them for high school graduation presents (which dates me and also indicates how popular they were. No one thought it was weird to give two 17 yr old these dolls). I found one for my third daughter, a little angel one, called Jacqueline Franny (which happened to be her grandmothers’ names!).

  18. Charlene Freddy was mine, and my brother’s was Jane Jewella. I loved all the strange names they came up with! I remember going shopping for another one and the name was the deciding factor. Some of those names were a little too weird….but I guess if they came from a place this strange, it’s no surprise!

  19. Tracy lamb says:

    My son was 2 1/2 Christmas 1985. He asked for a baby doll. He got Alicia Lelia. We had to legally change her name to Baby Doll Lamb. Lol. He’s daughter now plays with her. Plus my soft body doll from 1966. First dolls are so special. Kelle, I love your blog. I am a NICU nurse and share Bloom with the parents of my special angel babies. Your children are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  20. Porcia Marian. My sisters was a premmie, Malcolm Dwight. Both born on October 1st.
    My best friend had 5! (Lucky spoilt gal) one was Estelle which I thought was a lovely name. My third born is now named after a cabbage patch kid!

  21. christine says:

    Eunice Janet. For real.

  22. I will love my Webb Vinny forever. I bought my own girls their Canbage Patch Dolls when they were one. Wow, I wish Georgia was a lot closer!

  23. Mine was Amos Tad. I love this post- remember it from last summer when I laughed my ass off. Thanks for reposting.

  24. Oh man…I didn’t even realize I had nostalgia for Blockbuster until reading that. Going around the whole alphabet was a serious process. And don’t forget checking the returns to see if some magical hand of fate had brought back THE PERFECT rental. Nice walk down memory lane – thank you :)

  25. Rachel Drake says:

    I had a cabbage patch doll named Mitchell Vincent. My favorite gift on my 8th birthday. Had him for many years. I think I went to that place as a child. Vague memories. Pretty cool.

  26. I LOVE this post!! I have/still have/probably able to find…Jill Myrtle. Who named these kids anyway?

  27. Renee rawcliffe says:

    Linus Randall- the cutest Balfour one did ever see! My girls have him thrown in the doll mix now too. Great blog!

  28. Annie Chandra. I loved her and I loved this post when I first read it. So many memories. Can’t wait to see the updates from your amazing trip.

  29. Catherine says:

    Sharon Elizabeth is still alive and well…and stuffed a box somewhere in the basement. I think if I just walk by the boxes and take a big sniff I’ll know which one she’s in!

  30. Danielle says:

    First one was Ansel Wilt I changed his name to Bryan something and never got a birth certificate :( second one was Octavia Buluha I kept her name got her birth certificate I let my cousin play with her and haven’t seen her since (1993 :( ) another one bonnie something and then I adopted one in California at the hospital there well adopted two in 1994 when i was 19 did the whole hand swear to love and paperwork long story short I returned one of them Cuz he didn’t have authentic cabbage patch clothing on and oh my God the crap I got for returning him the nurse wouldn’t give me my money back even though I had just paid cash 5 min before. I had to wait 6-8 week for a check she sat and told me you wouldn’t return a real baby would you my mom had to leave cause she was laughing so hard I was like look I love these dolls but he’s in hand made clothes I kept my other boy I think his name was Paul who was sporting the blue authentic cabbage patch corduroy outfit. I still giggle when I think of the nurses comment to me “you wouldn’t return a real baby would you” uhm nooo. But it is a doll ha ha

  31. I miss Blockbuster so much too! Going there to pick a movie out made watching one at home on a Friday night into an event, or at least more of an event than clicking a few buttons on a remote or computer. When we were young(ish) my best friend and I would narrow down our selection by asking a complete stranger to pick a letter for us and then selecting a film that started with that letter. It was fun – we came across some gems that way!

    Safe travels to Michigan!

  32. 1. Lincoln Toby
    2. Dana something
    3. Bald dude who’s middle name was Raphael.
    4. Ruby something. She had pink glasses.
    5. Quincy something – she had corn-silk hair
    6. Doris Camille – she was a preemie

    Yes, I had 6. And yes, it true. You remember everything about your first child and your last child. The middle children?? Nothing.

  33. So glad that you reposted this because I’m going on a Florida to Tennessee road trip next week and Babyland is only 30 minutes off the route. I don’t have any kids but I don’t care. I’m going anyway!

  34. Sarah p. says:

    I loved the movie Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken! My CPK’s name was, Bianca Fiona. I still love that name.

  35. Camille says:

    As a five year old I remember being totally disappointed when my doll’s name came with Dagmar Christie!…eeeek…I ended up just calling her Christie.

  36. Mine was Gladys Lorraine. She still lives on, somewhere in my girls’ doll box.

  37. MIchelle says:

    Mine obviously came with her own name: Gertrude Millicent lol
    She had short blond hair and a sweatpants outfit. Styling!

  38. jen quick says:

    Wow if that didn’t bring back some memories!! Mine was named Meredith Lainey!!

  39. Agnes Belinda (bald preemie), Lee Timothia (she had red hair, green eyes, and smelled AMAZING), and Tay Cora (blond, with little pink glasses). And we had the CPK cassette tape. I will admit, I can still remember all the words! “Here we are Ramie” was magic. 💚💚💚

  40. Mine was Carissa Cara and my sister’s was Timothy Reggie. We got them at a flee market but they were new in the box and I remember that day so well. Wow! I hadn’t thought about that in a long time! Haha!

  41. CathyMA says:

    Oh my gosh, I have to play. Mine is Lorelei Grace. Red hair, green eyes, and she lives in my closet, HA! Tried giving her to my daughter but she passed on it. Oh well!

  42. Deanna Barbie! I used to run her through the wash cycle in the washing machine because then she was heavier and more like a real baby. I LOVED her so much and other than the washing machine drownings, I was a really good mommy! I really want to go to GA now!

  43. My doll was Donna Sandra. She burped when you squeezed her. My sister’s was Georgina, I remember that. My daughter has her now but definitely didn’t play with her as much as I did!

  44. Claudine Nellie.
    My Mom and her Bestie (my 2nd Mom!) waited in line for 3 hours! And that was back before you waited in line on Black Friday or anything like that! They sure loved me! I still have her with the original box and papers in the basement.
    I HAD to have one for my daughter. I saw a super cute one on a super high shelf. The cutie that worked at Target entertained my plea and grabbed his ladder to fetch it. Irony—–it’s the same birthdate as my daughter!
    Shout out to Target in #Michigan!

  45. This is probably one of the funniest things I have ever read. I’m ashamed to say that I renamed my cabbage patch “Cindy” because I hated her name… Esmeralda. What was wrong with me?! Also, Wild Horses Can’t be Broken is the best movie. Thank you for reminding me that it exists. I’m watching it with my kids tonight❤️

  46. Marsha Annetta!

    And I still have her at 36. WTF.

    Ok so this place is so incredibly crazy, weird, awesome, weird, and I-don’t-know-what-else-to-say. Wrong? Imaginative? Holy crap, so much going on in Babyland General Hospital!

    Your mention of Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken pulled at my heartstrings. I totally had the VHS. Wait, I STILL DO. At 36. I kid you not.

    Adolescence is alive and well within.

  47. I had a home made cabbage patch dog, but it was really similar to a real one and I named her Francesca. Thanks for bringing up these memories!!

  48. * I meant DOLL!! not dog :(

  49. Weirdly enough I disliked my doll and can’t remember her name, my sisters though had beautiful ones named: Melanie Starr and Netta Mandy :) love Cabbage Patch dolls!

  50. danielle woloszyk says:

    Diana elizabeth! I am 39 years old and have given her to my girls!

  51. Aileen Viola. I saved up my money to get her–the deal was I would pay for half. I still remember my parents handing me a note saying, “Go get your money!” I was thrilled with my red-haired beauty in the maroon overalls. Ah 1980 something…

  52. Rachel Cybil and Deborah Hazel. I can’t believe I actually remembered them.

  53. I loved reading this post, now I want to go there.

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