Gabi has way too many stuffed animals and baby dolls, but I can't get rid of any of them. Believe me, I've tried. And it always backfires BIG time.
She knows right away when someone is missing. All of her animals and dolls are grouped into families, and Heaven forbid a sister or an uncle gets taken away. Then the family they were in wouldn't be complete anymore!
One time I accidentally left a garbage bag full of stuffed animals headed to Goodwill in the dining room, and she discovered it while I was at work. When I got home, she rushed to me in tears and asked why I wanted to take away her most bestest friends. Talk about tugging at my heart strings.
Right then and there I decided that if they were that important to her, I could hold off on weeding out any more animals and dolls, and just do a mass exodus when she was older and more into her iPod.
I'm not sure how she figures out when a family is complete. The turtles are just fine with only a mommy, daddy and daughter. But the Bears are quite extended with aunts, uncles and grandkids. And if I get confused and call a doll by the wrong name ("Mom, that's SISTER Anna, not BABY Anna!), boy do I get an earful.
One of Gabi's dolls used to be named Baby Rosa, but now she's Mama Rosa, because she has since acquired four babies of her own. With the number of her crew growing and growing, and thus the names constantly changing, I just can't keep up!
And Gabi refuses, absolutely REFUSES, to be the mommy.
Last night, just before bed, she sat down to give Mama Rosa a bottle.
Me: Why don't you nurse her?
Gabi: Because I don't have any milk!
Me: You could pretend.
Gabi: I am NOT the mommy! I am JUST giving her a drink! GOT IT?
Okay! You don't have to be the mommy! But pardon me while I laugh into my arm.
For the most part, I think Gabi's obsession with her animals and dolls and their relationships is endearing. Even when it comes to bedtime, and she insists on putting all 308 of them to bed in just the right place, in just the right clothes, while I sit on her bed patiently holding a pull-up.
I'm just going to need to send out a PSA to family and friends notifying them of our current FULL status. I need a bit of time to learn all their names before any new ones come on board! Not to mention where on earth we'd put any new ones, considering we're already out of space.
We're in big trouble if this phase lasts more than a few years. Someone will wonder where we are and open our front door, and we will tumble out on a sea of stuffed animals.