The Baby Doll Dilemma: Is It About the Doll or About Annoying His Sister?

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I knew kiddette would like the baby doll. She already shares her sippy cup with her stuffed Elmo, and tucks him in with her blankie, and she's been known to give her giant stuffed gorilla potty time. So I got her the doll for her birthday. My mother-in-law gave her a doll-size stroller, and she immediately cuddled the doll, put it in the stroller and took it for a walk around the house.

Incidentally, I had quite the time finding a doll that wasn't creepy. The ones with blinking eyes inevitably get out of sync, so that one eye closes and the other doesn't. Oddly unsettling, because babies shouldn't wink. I also didn't want one that cried or wet itself, because I don't get much joy out of changing a diaper; why should my kid dig it? Dolls don't have to be realistic. Unless your kid is 16 and you're trying to scare her out of having sex, in which case go for the doll that also spits up all over you at 3 a.m., then refuses to go back to sleep. (I'm assuming this doll exists somewhere.)

I found one doll you were supposed to fill with water, which made me think two things: Do you have to drain the doll periodically so the water doesn't get gross? And how likely is the doll to spring a leak? (Also why I never wanted a waterbed.)

I settled on one that didn't have blinky eyes or fluids, that gurgled "Mama" very sweetly and even came in purple, which is good, because I've been trying to keep the pinkness to a minimum. The doll does have a tendency to start gurgling at random when not being played with, which has spooked my husband a few times. So even this one is a little Twilight Zoneish, but I guess they all are.

At any rate, we all cooed over kiddette and her purple goo-gooing doll, and how funny it was that she knew just what to do with the doll, and isn't it strange how she took right to dolls and stuffed animals while her big brother went right for trucks and cars and airplanes and Legos.

And then kiddo noticed the doll.

Promptly he became obsessed with it. To the point of my threatening him with time outs just to get him away from the doll. Mainly because kiddette had owned it for less than a day at that point, and I thought maybe he could lay off his sister's birthday presents until she got used to them. Sharing is not what I would call his best skill.

creepy greek baby dolls....But even still, and even now a week later, he wants the doll. I don't know if it's because the doll talks and moves its arms and legs around, or because the doll has a nifty little stroller that can also transport Matchbox cars. Or because he knows the doll isn't his. Whatever the reason, he's on kiddette's case about it constantly. "Can I have the doll? Can I have it when you're done? Are you done yet? Are you done now? She says she's done so I can have it!" (To her credit, kiddette has no problem telling him no.)

I can't see the point of getting worked up about the gender roles thing. Hey, I loved my friends' brothers' action figures when I was a kid. And I liked to pretend my Barbies were superheroes. Kiddette, for that matter, likes her brother's cars and Thomas trains. She also likes to carry a plastic baseball bat around and whack things with it, until I stop her.

What I'm wondering is, should I buy kiddo his own doll so he leaves hers alone? Letting him borrow his sister's doll is one thing, but giving him his own is an official endorsement on my part. Plus it's almost rewarding him for being a pest about the doll.

I know my parents used to buy me and my sister the same thing so we wouldn't get jealous of each other, but I didn't think that would be an issue with different-gender siblings. And so clearly, I was wrong.

It's hard not to get annoyed at kiddo when he's got a gazillion toys of his own to play with. But giving him his own would (theoretically) get him to lay off kiddette's doll, and ease my annoyance. Is it worth the peace and quiet?

Plus, he's actually pretty good with the doll. He holds it properly and tries to feed it with its little bottle. And he says, "She's so cute! I love her!"

Isn't it a good thing that he's naturally that nurturing?

So I'm at a little bit of a standstill about it. I guess I'll have to see if the obsession continues.

At least this isn't over an American Girl doll. Those are expensive.

Photo Credit: chrissy575.Featured on


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