I can’t tell you the kick I am getting out of all of this. I have been moved to tears by the sweetness she exhibits while pretending that she is the midwife and must give her baby an examination using all the implements of her medical kit, mimicking the many appointments she accompanied me on: Let’s measure you baby; how is your tummy feeling? Don’t cry baby, this won’t hurt. Poke, poke, poke.
And I have been moved to tears of laughter watching her act out her favourite Dora episode while she watches herself in the mirror: Climb, little monkey, climb! Sube! Sube!
Her dance moves seriously slay me; she will run/hop/skip/jump/kick from one side of the room to the other while prompting: Watch me ballerina! I’m a good dancer!
And often I will find her sitting in her emptied toy bin, conversing with my bff, her ‘auntie’, on her toy phone: Hi Auntie! You bring Princess [ed's note - chihuahua] to see me? Well, Daddy’s at work right now. I’m so proud of Daddy! You take me bowling? Well, Mummy’s making dinner and Dove is pooping AGAIN! She’s a poop machine!
So, good parents that we are, we decided to help foster this very important, very entertaining part of Bee’s life by buying her a dollhouse. We have watched her, thoroughly engaged, play with dollhouses at friends’ homes and at various stores, so we felt it was worth the investment. (Especially since these good parents never bought her a single Christmas/Hanukkah present.)
Also, I see many boring winter afternoons
So off we go this morning to a nearby mega-bookstore for a little train-table play, a little coffee for mama, and a little dollhouse buying. We eventually make it home, and after nursing Dove, getting Bee a snack and calling Chris but before going pee myself, I put together Bee’s adorable new dollhouse.
And OHMYGOODGOD I LOVE THIS THING!
Seriously, this dollhouse is da bomb shiznit. It’s got three floors, cute, practical furniture, and shrubs! And an adorably raggedy, if not homogenous, family of five, including a baby that looks like an old wooden clothes pin. You know, the kind with the round head. Too cute.
Bee goes straight to work, putting little wooden bowls on the little wooden table, and little wooden canisters in the little wooden bowls.
I try to convince her that the canisters look better on a top shelf where the mice and the baby can’t get at them, but no dice. Back into the bowls they go.
And then she makes up the little twin beds for Brother and Sister, blue and red bedding respectively, and uses the cute little area rug as a quilt.
I try to convince her that it looks way better at the foot of the bed than on the bed, but nope. Poor Sister is going to be shvitzing tonight.
And then Bee takes all the furniture and puts it on the top floor, and puts her bowl of apple slices in the living room.
And then she puts the baby in her cup of water, y’know, to give it a bath, and then dries her off and puts her to sleep in the toy box.
And then she puts the bowls in the dresser drawers and puts her apple slices on the kitchen chairs.
And then she puts her panda finger puppet in the cradle and stands on Brother’s skateboard.
And then Bee goes to find her Spiderman stickers and I rearrange everything in the dollhouse so that everything is where it is intended to go.
And then Dove needs to nurse again, or maybe she poops again, and anyway, Bee comes back and messes up my floorplan.
So this time I decide to back off, and just watch. Brother and Sister have a discussion about Rice Krispies; baby goes back in the ‘bath’ a second, third, fourth time; Mum and Dad don’t seem to do much at all, and Bee’s design sense is coming into its own. I would never have thought of putting a stove in the bedroom, or a bookshelf in the garden, but you know, it could work. And Bee thinks that the lamp is a vacuum cleaner, and gets to it.
And I don’t try to correct, coerce, convince or gently nudge her to do a thing differently. Because this is her space, and her time, and her childhood, and her imagination. And it cracks me up and makes me love Bee in even more ways than I already do – and who would have thought that was possible?
Plus, I’ll have at it once she goes to sleep.