Monday, July 2, 2007

she's so going to need therapy

Today I was feeling crap-ass bad, and I couldn't get motivated to do any of the work or housewifey stuff I was supposed to do.

Really what would have been best for me is some self-care: a nap, perhaps, and a trip to the gym, and maybe cooking a special meal with some music playing. But because I'm too full of self-loathing to actually treat myself well, I have to do it vicariously through my kids. Which isn't the healthiest thing in the world, I'll admit, but still, there are worse ways to screw up your offspring.

So when I sat down and thought about what might make me feel better, the thing that I really wanted to do was go to the toy store to get Lilah a doll.

I never played with dolls when I was a kid, and I've always resisted the expectation that little girls should get matched up with them. I've assumed that Lilah's older brothers' toys would be fine for her. And in a pinch, she could always tuck in Babar.

Lilah does indeed love making her trucks go zoom. But I'm told that she also loves taking care of the younger babies at school--putting the bottles they've dropped back in their mouths, or rocking them if they get fussy. Lately I've seen her patting Babar and other not especially baby-like stuffed animals on the back, or pulling a blanket up over them. They no longer seem adequate. The other day I was lying on my stomach and she pulled a blanket up over me, and then spent the next twenty minutes rearranging it between gentle pats.

So this felt like the right thing to do today. I drove to the toy store and picked out a baby doll. It's soft and it's pink and it wears a hat with a little pink bow. "Baby!" Lilah said when I gave it to her. She played with it and then left it lying face down on the floor, and then found it and played with it some more.

I love watching her tend to the doll. Between her bouts of forgetfulness or distraction, she is so incredibly gentle. And when I see her touching the doll's face, or giving it a hug, it's as though she--or someone--is doing the same for me. It feels good.

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