The way they play

Friday, November 17th, 2017 at 8:47 am

Both of my children love to play with their dolls.

But how they play with their dolls is completely different.

Tirzah Mae is a little mama, hugging and rocking and feeding her dollies. She loves to wrap them up in blankets and make sure they’re warm. She holds them in a cradle hold or against her shoulder, patting and shushing them. She changes their diapers. She calls herself their mama.

Tirzah Mae with her doll

Louis takes a more active approach. He squats on the floor and arranges his dolly so her feet are on the floor too. Then he makes her walk or crawl across the floor. Or he holds on to her arms and swings her front to back or side to side. You can tell, by the care he takes to make sure his dolly is head up and feet down, that he is not treating the dolly merely as an object to be manipulated. No, he is playing with a pretend baby, just as his sister is.

Louis plays with a teddy bear

I could try to identify the sources of their different ways of play. Could blame age or developmental stage or differences between the sexes. I could talk about socialization, with Tirzah Mae imitating her mama’s more cuddly style and Louis imitating his papa’s more playful style. Perhaps it is a combination of all these factors.

But I don’t really care what causes the differences. I’m just enjoying watching the way they play.

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