Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avonlea's Baby

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law brought home a baby doll for Avonlea. They had been at a consignment store and, according to Maggie, Avonlea had picked up the doll and so Maggie bought it for her.

It's been a source of entertainment around our place ever since. Avonlea doesn't have a favorite stuffed animal, nor does she respond particularly interestedly to other babies. She hasn't done any pretend/ make-believe play up till now that I can recall.

But when I started to ask her about her baby, and to show her how to hold it and give it a pacifier and cover it up for night-night, she started doing these things to the doll on her own almost immediately.

The baby goes night-night, has made a visit to the potty, gets held whenever I ask where she is, and we even took her for a spin around the living room in the umbrella stroller today.

The best/worst thing has been a little joke I like to play on Avonlea with the doll. If you press its hands, the baby says mama or dada. If you press one foot, it sings a little song, and if you press the other, it cries. Whenever the baby cries, Avonlea makes her own little cry of distress, as if to say, "Oh no! Why is my baby crying? This is terrible!"

I think it's hilarious (maybe this is some kind of repressed pay-back going on?) One afternoon, I was like "Hey Matt, check this out." I pressed the foot, the baby cried, Avonlea whimpered, and I started laughing. I did it again. And again. "Isn't this funny, Matt? Don't you find this hilarious?" He only looked at me half-horrified. I don't know if he said it out loud, but he definitely got his point across: "What's wrong with you, woman?" I stopped.

Evil runs in the women in my family, in my defense.

Also, I don't think I've permanently scarred Avonlea with this. I tried making the baby cry again last week and instead of crying too, she looked at me with a kind of questioning smile, like "Isn't there supposed to be something funny about this?" Either I've totally destroyed her sense of empathy, or she's getting a good sense of humor. Let's hope the latter.