There are some dolls in Isabelle’s classroom where we attend a parent/child class twice a week. I noticed she didn’t have much interest in the dolls (She loves the kitchen space!). Perhaps the reason was because she doesn’t play with dolls at home… she mostly has stuffed animals. Therefore, I decided to buy her a baby doll in her school’s incredible store, which has lots of developmental toys, dolls, games, books, and crafting supplies.
When I brought her into the store, I noticed a few small baby dolls that she might like. I gave Isabelle a choice amongst the dolls. I thought she’d select one by pointing to the one she liked best. Instead, she shook her head at every one of them. Therefore, I selected one of the less expensive dolls in case she refused to play with it once we were home.
The day after I purchased the doll, I noticed she didn’t have any interest in playing with it. Therefore I started to model how to hold it, where to place it, and what to do with the doll. Therefore, she warmed up to the doll by patting the doll’s arm. Eventually she began to hug, kiss, and hold it. I even noticed her sitting with the doll, under a blanket on our couch the other day. That was a precious moment! (Hopefully I’ll find her reading to her doll sometime soon.) While she still prefers her stuffed animals for cuddling, she likes her baby doll who, a week and a half after we got her, still has no name!
There’s a new book by Kevin Henkes, Penny and Her Doll, which reflects the one remaining dilemma I have with the doll I purchased Isabelle. Penny, the book’s main character, comes to realize, from her father’s nudging, that she needs to name the doll, which was a gift she received from her grandmother. She cannot think of a name and her parents reassure her that she will come up with one in time. Penny promises her doll that she will think of a name for it, which she eventually does by the end of chapter three.
I can relate to Penny’s struggle since I’m trying to come up with a name for Isabelle’s baby doll. I haven’t needed to name a beloved doll for what feels like an eternity. Plus, she’s not even my doll… she’s Isabelle’s. But I don’t think Isabelle will be naming her anytime soon. Therefore, I’m racking my brain to come up with an easy to pronounce name for this doll so I’m not walking around calling it “Baby.” After all, like Penny’s Papa said in the book, “Everyone needs a name.”