Why the Tree of Life?

9.02.2009

Little Mama



Ayla has discovered her baby doll. Yesterday, she climbed up in our rocking chair with her baby and her sunglasses, worked at getting her sunglasses to stay on top of her head, cradled her baby in her arms and then started making the rocker rock. Then she gently patted her baby. I only happened to see her out of the corner of my eye. And some say boys and girls are the same. HA! Both of my boys had a doll, but they never nurtured it--- not like this. They might carry it around in the doll sling once in a blue moon (at my suggestion) and pretend to be a daddy while continuing to play trucks, but that is the extent of it. Ayla will give kisses and snuggle and rock and pat and carry her baby in the sling for long periods of time. She's also starting to put her to bed! And taking her to bed with her herself. 16 months. I can't get over it. I didn't expect her to play like that until at least two and a half or three. And it's funny how easily I can sink into playing dolls with her; my mind doesn't wander away with boredom at all. I have a much harder time playing the boy type of things with Kirven and Dunagan. Legos. Trucks. Trains. (my eyes glaze over) But dolls on the other hand; much easier for me to stay focused! (and I've suddenly realized: now here is a child who might be interested in a dollhouse and a play kitchen... oh, the possibilities; how exciting... and, um, the potential to go overboard at Christmas...)

And I should add, the doll in the picture is a very special doll. A version of this doll was given to me and both my sisters and all my female cousins by my mother's mother, and my mother, I think, bought Ayla's doll for her the day after her 20-weeks-gestation sonogram when we found out her gender. It was a first Christmas present for her. So, Mamma, you ought to be pleased! (Because she scorns the waldorfy doll I so carefully picked out for her!!) And you'll also notice: no clothes on the doll. What is it with naked baby dolls??

9 comments:

  1. I don't know. I liked dolls as a child, but although my daughters have each had moments where they played like that and I briefly thought they might be dolly people - they aren't. Their attentions moved on pretty quickly. I think it's a person by person thing.

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  2. Oh, to be sure! I wasn't particularly into dolls either when I was little, but I did nurture them what little I did play with them, and I had a couple of favorites. Maybe Ayla will be into dolls or maybe she won't. It's the difference in the quality of the play that has struck me the most. I've known some parents who were militantly gender-neutral; fully on the side of nuture in the nature vs. nurture debate. The differences are subtle, but they are there, and I don't think I would have noticed the differences as much without having both genders in our family. Ayla also like to play trucks with the boys and makes rocket sounds with anything long and narrow. She's definitely imitating her brothers on that, and I'm glad that she'll happily play boy games. But no one has modeled nurturing a baby doll for her. I haven't had much time to play specifically with her, so this is the interesting bit that seems instinctual. The boys have never picked up a doll voluntarily and loved on it. They have when I have modeled it, though. That's the difference that I find fascinating. I think it is very valuable to provide (traditionally) boy and girl 'things' to both boys and girls, but it is interesting to see what they bring to their play from within themselves, what hasn't been modeled for them. Like gun play with the boys!-- that's never been modeled for them in this house, but it is apparently hardwired (and something I stuggle with); but that's a whole 'nother post! Glad to hear from you, Lone Star Mama!

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  3. So sweet, Jennifer. About the naked doll baby thing--it was a definate thing here too. Both daughters removed the clothing and I spent hours it seemed putting clothing back on. I just had this idea dressed baby dolls looked better when company arrived. It was futile! Mine still play at their ages and I recall playing dolls well into late childhood. More often than not, they are dressed here now...lol.

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  4. I think I always noticed it more with boys - the gun thing, as you say. I was eldest in my family and had a sister before our brothers came - what a shock they were. And still are.

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  5. Sweet. Your comment about the Waldorf doll reminded me of how many times my attempts to foist my own taste in playthings upon my children (things that are so ecologically correct and aesthetically pleasing and natural and blah blah blah) just don't take. They make their own choices, so young.

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  6. I want a daughter!!!! Wahhhh!!!! What a precioud post.

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  7. Very cute - thanks for the reminder about doll clothes - I just started making a Waldorf doll for my little one and, just so I don't feel overwhelmed, I'll leave open the possibility of gifting it naked, knowing, as you say, that it will end up naked within the first day :)

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  8. This is such a sweet post. It makes me want a girl too! My oldest loves his dolls and bounces them and cuddles them in a very sweet way, but it lasts for about 3 minutes and then he is back to his airplanes. He does like the waldorf dolls I made for him, but likes the thrift store plastic one (found with the name "Sean" written with a sharpie on its forehead!) just as much.
    Hey, I've started blogging about my Enki inspired preschool, would you be willing to put my link on your sidebar?
    www.small-wonders.blogspot.com
    cheers

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  9. Hi taimarie! I'd be glad to link you!

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