I was in the girls' closet going through things and I found a bunch of doll clothes that belonged to a doll that Amberly had donated several months ago to the nursery toy drive. "Amberly, since you no longer have the doll, should we donate these clothes too?" I asked yesterday.
"What!?" she cried in her very high-pitched shrieky voice. "Those clothes belong to Too Big."
"Too Big" is/was the name of the doll that had previously been donated. Amberly got her for Christmas when she was 18 months old but the baby doll was too big (thus the name) for her to carry. Occasionally, Amberly would drag the doll to me so that I could put the clothes back on it but usually she preferred to play with her much smaller and more manageable baby doll--Babya (who still sleeps on her bed each night).
"You decided to donate Too Big to the nursery this summer. Don't you remember?" I reminded her. (The doll had a soft body so the nursery couldn't keep it and it then got sent on to DI. I didn't tell Amberly this part.)
"What!?" The shriek was even louder and more high-pitched. Then, Amberly burst into tears. "I loved her. I miss her. I would never donate Too Big."
"But you did." I replied matter-of-factly. It's not as if she's missed the doll for the past six months. She didn't even remember she was gone. Utah Dad poured on the sweetness. I was unsympathetic after she'd been sobbing hysterically in her bed for over an hour while clinging to the doll clothes (which she took to bed last night and hugged while she was asleep).
**Note: While I do encourage my children to go through their toys and occasionally throw some away or donate them, I never pressure them to give anything away. If they express even the slight bit of sentimentality, they can keep it. I'm not cruel. But really, Amberly decided on her own to give Too Big away. Even if she doesn't remember it now.
You might wonder how this story is ending up in a "I'm Thankful" post. I know. It's seems a stretch. I am thankful that the kids' bedrooms are finally clean for one day. Utah Dad has been threatening them all day that they better not mess them up. I'm realistic to know that by tomorrow they will be a mess again.
I really am thankful for my beautiful daughter. Yes, she's dramatic. Yes, she's overly emotional. But she's also extremely sweet and thoughtful. She'll play with her younger siblings for hours--creating fanciful pretend worlds (they miss her desperately when she goes to school). This afternoon she had them all pull on a pair of underwear over their clothes (the called them "outerwear") and they instantly became super heroes or super villains. Amberly carried a vacuum attachment tool and called herself "Super Clean Girl". I convinced Super Clean Girl to clean off the kitchen table.
Last week, (I can't believe I haven't mentioned this already) Amberly's painting won in the school PTA Reflections Contest. She won a trophy, a new box of crayons, some candy and an envelope full of free coupons to local restaurants. Amberly's painting will now go on to be judged at the district level. I stuck my camera in my purse without my usual camera case to go to the award ceremony and forgot the memory card stuck in my computer. D'oh! Even so, we're very pleased that Amberly is such a fabulous artist (she creates art at such a pace that I'm afraid we'll need to rent a storage unit to store it all--heaven forbid I throw it away).
Today, I'm thankful for my beautiful, smarty-pants, overly dramatic, artistic, Baby Doll-Girl.
Amberly and Too Big - Christmas 2004