Monday, November 29, 2010

The Naming of the Dolls

Sammi has hit a few really important developmental milestones recently.  Well, I assume, they're important.  I'll refer to only one in this post, in the interest of not writing yet another book.

The first one I've been holding my breath and waiting for for a long time.  The Naming of the Dolls.  Certainly, for several years now, Samantha's dolls and stuffed toys have had such wonderfully descriptive and creative names as "baby" or "bear."  I've asked her what their names should be, and her answers remained the same - baby or bear, or whateverotheranimalitmaybe.  Which is just fine, but something was still missing from the picture.  We've suggested names for a few of her dolls, and occasionally one would stick. 

About a year and a half ago, Samantha received a toy Care Bear.  I asked her its name, and she responded "Max."  Nevermind that the bear is bright pink, the name "Max" holds a point of reference for her, as in her long-time favorite cartoon, Max and Ruby.  It's not like I'd expect her to pick a random name from somewhere.  I was pretty excited about the bear's new designation, but I never heard her call it Max again, and the bear got tucked away somewhere in the bottomless depths of the stuffed-bear-basket in her room, forgotten by both of us.  Bears went back to being just bears, and babies continued to be just babies. 

Fast forward to a week or two ago.  Samantha, loving pretend-play of all sorts (usually scenarios involving babies in time-outs for hitting, visits to a doctor's office for itchy-foot-itis, bedtime routines or just general doll-house play), has begun to hold circle-time sessions with her toys.  I didn't realize it at first, but after listening in and spying on her a bit, I've seen her line up several bears and babies next to her, singing some sort of "good morning" song that I assume they sing at school.  It's a song where they call out each person by name.  She had started out using just her dolls that already have obvious names attached (like her Max & Ruby dolls, Olivia, and Tolee, HoHo and LuLu from Kai-lan), singing (without carrying any discernable tune whatsoever), "Good morning, Olivia, Good morning, Olivia, Good morning, Olivia, How are you today?" and so on and so forth, down the line.  One of her baby dolls got added to the mix last week.  I was in another room, but heard her in her room speaking to Marie.  Intrigued, I popped my head in, and saw her holding one of the dolls she's had since she was less than a year old (see the photo above).  Excited about the answer I hoped to receive, I asked her, "What's that baby's name?"  And sure enough, I got the answer I wanted - Marie.  And yes, she does know someone named Marie, a real girl that she's played with many times.  

A few days later, the licensed wunderkind of Nick Jr. were mostly all replaced by random bears and babies.  And the circle time song changed.  It was music to my ears to hear her go down the line, calling them out each by name, Marie, Jack, Olivia (yes, Olivia was still there), Milan and Max (the return of the forgotten Care Bear!!).  I was one proud mommy!  And the names stuck.  Each one still retains its new identity, holding a new and treasured place in her heart.  No longer relegated to the bottom of any basket, they now hold prestigious spots on her bed, and at the forefront of all games of pretend-play. 

Creativity is a beautiful thing...

10 comments:

Blyss said...

Awww... I really loved this! I can't wait for the day Kyira does this as well! :) (Though when I asked Kyira what she wants to name her babies she says "Daddy" lol!)

Kelli said...

Awww that's so cute!! How great to have hit such a milestone! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think I'm going to cry!! That's the best!

Carol N. said...

That is great! I can picture her circle times!

txkerri said...

How awesome!!

Zoey's mom said...

And you should be proud.Samantha is amazing and I so love coming here and watching her blossom!

Crazy Beautiful Love said...

My first daughter is now half way to 5 and still calls all of her dolls "Ariel" and puppies "puppy". LOL. Maybe Sammie wants to come and give her some pointers?

Pallavi said...

That's so cute..

evrfwd said...

oh what a wonderful post. a great milestone! these moments are so important aren't they? I'm so gald that you could share it with us.

I also can't wait until Maya does the same. =)

Melissa M said...

That is so cool that she is naming her dolls, but it made me laugh too, becuase I always call Claire's toys bear, moose...not much creativity here either. :)