My youngest daughter Sarah loves babies and dolls and Barbies. At least she likes to think she does, and she wants us to think she does. What I mean is when you ask her for a gift idea surrounding her birthday or Christmas, she will get excited and launch into describing the new Barbie she would like or show us a photo of a new doll in a magazine.
The problem is, however, she has a lot of dolls and doesn't usually spend much time with them. Many parents can probably relate. But every now and then, she will get some of her dolls out and begin to play with them, entertain herself and have a lot of fun. Such was the case a few days ago with her Baby Alive.
When I passed by our upstairs bathroom, I saw Sarah busily tending to her Baby Alive doll which was seated atop its toilet, happily telling Sarah what a good job she was doing being a mommy. When I passed by a few minutes later, I noticed there were little piles of wadded up toilet paper dotting the vanity. When I passed by about 20 minutes later, there were no baby wipes left in the container (since they appeared to mostly on the floor coved with some sort of yellow goo), the mini piles of wadded up toilet paper were now large piles of wadded up toilet paper, and there seemed to be more of a frantic pace to all of Sarah's activity.
"Are you getting along okay, honey?" I asked as I poked my head into the room to survey the scene a bit better.
"Oh yeah, Dad, I'm fine," came the reply without even looking up from her activity.
"Looks like you have some clean-up to do," I said in reference to about $10 worth of paper products wasted on the floor.
"Well, when she eats," came the rely, "she poops. And when she poops I have to clean it up."
"Yeah, that's true," I said laughing a little at the logical connections being described. "You know, real babies are the same way," I said. "Babies just eat and poop and the more you feed them the more they poop. And sometimes you have to change their clothes or your own clothes or the floor….just like you're doing."
With that Sarah stopped and surveyed the scene before her - her right hand holding a dirty yellowish baby wipe, her left hand full of dirty yellowish Kleenex's, her Baby Alive lying face down on the counter half naked and yellow goo all over her rear end and legs, more goo in other places on the counter and piles of dirty toilet paper on the floor. She looked up me and breaking into a grin she chuckled and said, "Well, I'm surprised anyone has babies at all!"
I laughed at that one probably like you're laughing now and said, "Well, babies eventually grow up and don't do that anymore. If they always stayed babies and all you did was feed them and clean up poop then yes, there would probably be a lot less babies in the world."
"Good thing we grow up," she said.
Good thing indeed. Sometimes a child's toy can do more teaching than we could imagine. Thanks Baby Alive.