Friday, December 4, 2009

The Naming of Toys

Lately, the Pumpkin has been very into names. When you ask her what her name is, she tells you her nickname (the one we use regularly). If you ask her what is her full name, she will tell you her full first, middle and last name. She will do the same for the Pookie, Londo and me, although sometimes she says Daddy or Mommy as our first names with our middle names and last name.

I once wrote about how she named a stuffed duck toy Mr. Duck. That was the first toy that the Pumpkin named. Around that time, I asked her what her baby doll’s name was, and she said Baby. I wasn’t sure she was really naming the baby doll so much as just calling it a baby. (It turns out, she was indeed naming the doll, and that cute name has stuck.) But those names seemed pretty basic to me, like she was in a very early stage of understanding names.

Along with her recent understanding of peoples’ names, she has also started coming up with more imaginative names for her toys. A few weeks ago, she was playing with these four little toy dogs she has and she named them. The red one is Fireman. The purple one and yellow one are Crumple and Sissy, although which is which sometimes changes. The green one’s name, however, keeps getting changed. I’m not sure why. Sometimes the name sounds like Cyanide and sometimes it sounds like Dinny or Binny. But the other three names are absolutely consistent. In fact, the little dogs were put away for a week, and when she rediscovered them, she still called the red one Fireman and the purple and yellow ones Crumple and Sissy. And I still have no idea where she got those names!

And now, she has named her other baby doll. Last weekend, she was watching a show with flowers who are animate. One flower’s name is Marigold. Well, she suddenly decided that to name her other baby doll Marigold. I love this name. It’s so pretty, and I’m really fascinated that she took a name she heard and applied it to her doll because she liked it. So now if you ask her what her baby dolls’ names are, she tells you that one is Baby and one is Marigold.

I remember loving to name my toys and stuffed animals, which is why I’m probably so excited about this stage in her development. I’ve always loved names and think the naming of things is important. It’s pretty awesome to see the ability to name things develop in my little girl.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Girly

In the last few months, my daughter has started to become more girly. She is a highly active, spirited child who usually prefers physical play to sitting down and doing anything quiet. She would rather climb and jump and race cars around and throw and kick balls than play with dolls and have tea parties and read books.

At least, that used to be true.

In the spring, the Pumpkin discovered tea parties. She LOVES to have tea parties. We sit down with her special tea set, she pours the tea and cream and scoops in the sugar and stirs it up. When my mom got her an adorable (and handmade) toddler table and chairs, we put it in her room for her tea parties. Just about every morning these days she asks if we can have a tea party. We now always have some birthday cake (the Melissa and Doug wooden set) to go with the tea party. I'm having a blast with these, and we often give a cup to the Pookie or the dog, too.

At some point over the fall, the Pumpkin's interest in dolls took off. At a friends birthday party, she got a gift of Disney's Belle princess doll. She absolutely loves it. She loves it so much that we got her a Belle costume for Halloween. She also got a Tinkerbell doll from my mom recently, and she is really into her now too. In addition, she actually started to play with the doll I got her last Christmas and the one my mom got her the Christmas before, as well as with the bassinet and high chair for the dolls that my sister got her last Christmas. She puts them to sleep and rocks them and feeds them. She used to have no interest in dolls at all, but either because of her age, her current development or from being in school, she is really getting into dolls.

And the last sure sign of girliness developing? She's starting to play dress up. Inspired by a visit to my sister's house where she and her cousin (who is a year older) played with dress up dresses and accessories, I suggested playing dress up at our house. We had a Barbie dress up dress that my FIL got her once, plus the Belle costume from Halloween. I pulled out some old beads that I'd had from a Marti Gras-themed party, some feather boas (I have three from various things, no need to get into why), my tiara from my wedding and a silly hat I've had hanging around for a long time. Oh, what fun we had dressing up! Her favorite part is putting all the bead necklaces on herself and others (including me, Daddy and the Pookie).

One of my favorite moments recently was when my sister came over with her kids and our girls were playing dress up and I suggested we have a tea party while we were all dressed up! The baby boys sat in my sister's and my laps while we helped the girls set up the tea party in their finery. It was the kind of thing I had hoped for when I found out I was having a girl.

Now, we are still encouraging playing with cars and trains and balls and trucks. She is still highly active and spirited, an amazing climber, runner and jumper. But it's nice to get to play with some girly things too.

I myself have always had a foot in both sides of the typical gender-stereotyped play. I absolutely LOVED--okay, still LOVE--Barbie and many other girly toys. But I also always loved to climb trees, pretend to be GI Joe characters and dig in the dirt. As an adult, I love high heels, jewerly and makeup; but I also love football, poker and action movies.

Girls and women in this day and age are very lucky, IMO. We can wear pink and blue, show both the feminine and masculine sides of ourselves. I think this makes us well-rounded as humans. I only hope that it becomes more acceptable for boys to show both sides as my boy grows up. For now though, I'm enjoying playing with dolls and having tea parties with my little girl.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Question of the Week - Book Club Books

Because I'm so sick, I was not able to go to my book club last night. I'm so disappointed! This would have been my second time at the book club, and I went through a lot of trouble to finish the book--I had left it at home when we went to the inlaws, so my hubby and FIL drove 45 minutes to a nearby library to get it for me! The book was Three Junes, by Julia Glass, and it was absolutely fantastic! I was dying to talk in depth about it with other intelligent people who had read it. But I was simply too sick to venture out or be around people.

I just started going to this book club last month. Even though I'm an avid reader, I've never been part of a book club before. A woman at work had invited me to her book club last year, but I was having such a tough time with my pregnancy and the winter that I couldn't do anything extra. After having the Pookie, I realized I needed to do something for myself, something just for me to enjoy myself. I asked the woman if she was still part of the book club and if the invitation was still open. She is and it was, so I joined! The first time I went, I came home and raved to Londo about how great it was. "They used big words that I forgot existed and talked about the book and traveling and even opera!" It. was. wonderful.

So I was pretty upset to miss the book club last night. The next one isn't until January, because we are all busy around the holidays. I bemoaned this fact to Londo, who (wonderful man that he is) said that he and I should do our own book club in December! We looked through some books last night but didn't find the right one yet. We're going to the bookstore this weekend and we'll browse through and find a book. I'm really excited about reading an intelligent book and having a deep discussion with my husband, who was also an English major in college (where we met). In fact, he had a literary focus while I had a creative writing focus, so he's good at the deep thinking about books.

This week's question of the week is:
What book would you recommend as a book club book?

The one I recommended to my book club when asked at the last meeting was The Blessing Stone, by Barbara Wood. It was one of those really fascinating books that provides perspectives that you might not have otherwise thought about. Years after reading that book, I still think about it a lot.

How about you? Do you have any books that really spoke to you? Any books that you've thought about for years later? What books do you wish others had read so you could talk about it in depth?

Monday, November 30, 2009

So Sick

We have all been very sick. Now, the Pumpkin is pretty much better, the Pookie is a lot better, but Londo and I are still struggling with this dreadful cold that is apparently going around. I have not been this sick since before I was pregnant with the Pumpkin. In fact, we left the inlaws a day early because we were so sick.

I am miserable!

I hope you all are doing better than we are.