my baby has sextuplets...
i say this joking only partway--we quite literally can't leave home without at least one baby doll in tow. the girl who never got attached to a binky or a blanky now has her babies. she picks out their outfits, she feeds them, she shushes them. we all go for walks in the morning and they ride along. she wants them strapped into carseats. she wants them tucked into strollers and buggies and cradles. at night they all get laid out, one by one, and covered with a set of small blankets. "you go sleep now, little babies."
and then we got this book, which quickly became a favorite of lucy's. i found it at a garage sale for a quarter and figured it was a good buy, since lucy's favorite doll is a black baby she's named cookie. cookie came from the thrift store and cost 69 cents. in lucy's eyes, cookie gets major bonus points for the battery pack in her chest--cookie says mama, night-night, and yipee! she also has 2 different crying sounds (kids need to know early on how to decipher full-blown cries from plain old fussing, apparently).
as it turns out, elizabeti lives in a remote african village and doesn't have a cookie-baby. she has a smooth rock--which she bathes, cloth-diapers, and wears in a sling on her back. sounds familiar.
elizabeti has a rock. and we have just shy of 10 baby dolls. or, i should say, had. lucy was brave enough to cut loose 3 of her least-loved babies: sinatra (legs didn't move), tiny (too small, mommy!) and colin (totally looked like a sumo wrestler). we talk a lot about giving toys to children who have none, and lucy seems to understand the concept for the most part. she hasn't mentioned the donated babies but once, and i gently reminded her that she had decided to give those babies to other children. if she sees her babies sitting on the shelf at the thrift shop, it might be another story altogether. which very fondly reminds me of the thrifty chicks blog post do you shop where you drop?
back to the babies. after reading about elizabeti, my providing lucy with 9 babies just seemed a little... over-the-top. gluttonous? the opposite of have less, value more. so, we've pared it down. lucy did her part, and she did it well. which leaves me to hold up my end of the bargain: even though it's cheap and secondhand, we don't necessarily need it.
don't get me wrong--i'm not against rewarding good behavior (a.k.a. bribery) from time to time. but on the same note, i want my kids to appreciate and love the things they have, and not to become apathetic to or desensitized by stuff. i'm personally in the process of getting rid of a lot of things i've been hanging on to for years--and am now questioning why i've kept them this long.
lucy is a fine mama to six babies. six is my limit. any more than that, and i'm trading them all in for a rock!