We have long called our daughter Lil' Mama. She channels so many of my words, actions, and ways of thinking that it's sometimes a bit disturbing. However, she's never, ever liked dolls. She had a couple when she was younger - when she was 2 or 3 - and never played with them, so we eventually passed them on. I thought Littlest Pet Shop and other miniatures might be more up her alley, but she didn't care for those either. The only figurines that she's ever been interested in have been fairies, and to that end she has quite a few. Last year my mom got her an entire set of fairy houses and fairies to go with them. Those she has played with fairly regularly. Then my dad uncovered my old dollhouse in his attic, and we brought that home, and it sees occasional use... though these days it's more of a holder for her weather station than anything else.
Last week, though, something clicked inside my girl's head.
She decided that her stuffed cat Jojo (she's decided he's male, by the way) was her baby. She dressed him up using handkerchiefs and barrettes and went to work making a comfortable place for her baby.
Jojo had every amenity you could imagine.
The constant care was rather overwhelming. However, during this process, M2 was constantly getting upset because Jojo's clothes were not staying on. I told her that barrettes weren't really designed to hold clothes and suggested that she try using some of the clothespins we have in our art/school closet, but she didn't like that idea because it wasn't pretty. She started begging for a doll so that she could borrow its clothes for her kitty.
And that gave me an idea...
Meet Madeline. OK, originally - back in 1980-something when I first 'adopted' her - her name was Suzanne Yvette, but honestly I never cared for the name and when M2 wanted to rename her, I didn't really care. It's not like I've got the original certificate, anyway. So M2 decided that this is Madeline, and she's 2 and very smart. The last two days have been centered around Madeline's care. She is starting to potty-train, so M2 made her a toilet out of boxes from the garage. She needed a sippy cup, so I dragged the one old sippy cup lid we had out of the back of our cabinet, put it on a cup, and gave that to the giggly girl. Madeline even attended our New Year's Eve celebration last night, and this morning M2 proudly marched downstairs with the blue nightgown hung neatly on a hanger so she could give Madeline a (presumably pretend) bath.
Lil' Mama is hard at work, too. When she's not caring for Madeline, she's being an entrepreneur. She has an umbrella business set up in her room, complete with phone, keyboard, and radio, and she has printed off newsletters, sent funding requests to the government (and gotten a reply that they'll give her funding for her business because they think it'll make money and so they'll get more taxes - gotta give her credit for knowing THAT one), sent e-mails to her partner, recorded 'videos' to promote her company, and otherwise decided to set up several stores - one for men and one for ladies. Oh, and yes, her company does provide daycare.
I love her imagination. I love her initiative. I only ever got as far as being a secretary or a teacher when I was little, so she's gone way beyond me. I love her spirit!