First we dress them. Ken's clothes have to go. He's worn the same suit every day since 1980.
"Ken, these clothes won't do if you want to be a playa with the 2008 Barbies." I say.
The princess agrees, asking, "Mommy what's a 'playa'?"
Oops, maybe I should not have said that. "Um...That's what Mommy used to date before she met your daddy, honey."
The princess nods, seeming to understand me as we dress Ken up semi-casually, in blue rubber sneakers, jeans and a sports tee.
"There, he's hip," I say. "Now he can find Barbies to take to the Ball," adds the princess.
Then Barbie and her friends drive up in their 1985 plastic jeep.
"Look, there's Ken. We haven't seen him in like, 30 years. What's up Ken?"
Old, washed-up Barbie is driving. The girls dump her on the side of the road. Ken is all cool, riding on his giant stuffed cat.
"Hey, Ladies, what's up? You're lookin' fine!" Ken says.
The princess makes the Barbies giggle. Suddenly, Geek Barbie's glasses fall out of the car. When Ken bends down to retrieve them, the unspeakable happens. His pants split. Barbie and her friends gasp.
"What happened to your pants, Ken?" The Princess makes old Barbie shout, and shake her head, disapprovingly. The girls speed away, frightened by this pervert.
"Ken is not cool." I make Geek Barbie say.
"Yeah, Come on Barbies, let's go find Spiderman or G.I. Joe!" says the princess. Then, moving my hair to the side to whisper in my ear, she adds: "They are better."
I grin with pride at my girl. Readers, like the old adage goes, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."