Wordful Wednesday: The Doctor is In

Part of our attempts at Preschool at Home is to work on some imaginative play and following Cedella’s interests.

Well lately? She’s been interested in all things ‘Doctor’ related. Every time we go to Anna’s house to play she finds the Doctor set and drags it around the house.

Somewhere in our house she found a stethoscope and worn it around her neck all day. So I gathered some bits and pieces of Doctor gear around our house and I built her a little kit and set up a Doctor’s appointment for her Baby Doll. And yes, this doll is called Baby Doll.

I set up all her Doctor gear: glasses, stethoscope, thermometer and script pad. And her new computer. Because, as she reminded me, all Doctors have computers. Which is so very very true.

But really, she just wanted to include her computer in this game. This computer is the coolest thing she’s ever seen. And she tap tap taps away, just like her Mom. She may have officially gone over to the Tech Side of things. Thanks Grandma Becky!

When Baby Doll was ready she listened to her heart.

And took her blood pressure. Which she insisted that she was different even though she did the same thing.

And then she had to type everything into her computer.

When she was done taking her notes she wrote Baby Doll a prescription for a nap. Seriously. She said Baby Doll needed to rest so she could feel better. Smart kid. Wish she would follow her own advice sometimes.

It was so much fun to watch her imagine her way through this ‘appointment’. She created problems and talked through them. When she was playing with the computer she kept telling me to stop taking pictures so she could ‘do work’. I love that she wants to ‘do work’. And when she finally prescribed Baby Doll some rest, Cedella gently tucked the doll into her own bed, kissed the dolly forehead and tell her everything would be alright.

So it was no surprise that a few days later when we visited her BFF Anna that once again the Doctor kit came out. Only this time? It was Princess Doctor. And it was FABULOUS.

Anna said she had a tummy ache, so Doctor Cedella listened to her stomach to hear what was wrong.

Then she gave Anna a shot to make her feel better.

I think they both enjoyed it, huh?

Have you ever stopped to just watch your kids play? I say that because I never really had. Not without interfering in some way. But when she was playing Doctor by herself, Izzie was sleeping and I just sat back and took an occasional picture and watched her.

Slowing down for a moment and just really watching her imagine and play was pretty incredible.

Everything is so new and fresh and unique to her. Seeing things for the first time through her eyes is amazing.

To us grown-ups playing Doctor means to do simple tasks like checking your heart, giving shots or typing notes on a computer. (*Or something dirty. But please, we’re talking about little kids here. Let’s keep our minds out of the gutter.)

But for her it meant more than that. It meant taking care of Baby Doll, and making sure Baby Doll knew everything was ok.

My girl has the most unbelievable sense of compassionate and empathy.

Whenever another child cries or gets hurt she becomes very quiet and focuses on  figuring out what went wrong and how she can help them. And while I will gladly take some credit for teaching her to care for others, her intense connection to making others feel better is all her own.

Maybe Monk will grow up to be a Doctor. Maybe she’ll be an Artist. Or even the President. That is not important to me. What I hope is that she will grow up to be a kind, smart, confident and compassionate person.

And I think she is already on that path.

How do you instill the values of compassion, kindness and caring in your children? How do you use imaginative play in your house?

Happy Wordless/Wordful Wednesday to you all!!



Hello Build-A-Kitty

This past weekend we had one really really fantastic weekend. Full of visits to family and a visit to Sesame Street Live. And we took a trip to the mall to visit Build-A-Bear Workshop.

For her birthday my cousin Veronica and her beautiful family, including her daughter Milan, sent Monk a gift certificate to Build-A-Bear. Best. Idea. Ever.

Now I know what Build-A-Bear is, I’ve seen the stores in the mall before. But I had no idea at all what a magical world it is for little kids. They go in and pick a floppy animal body, then they fill it full of fluff. Once the doll is sewn up they give their new stuffed friend a bath, pick out clothes and accessories, dress their new friend, name them and create a birth certificate. And then you pay.

It’s a time and money trap for sure. But dammit if it doesn’t put a smile right on your grown-up face. And all the kids in there? Were super duper happy to be there.

When we walked into the front of the store there was a big old red Hello Kitty doll on display. I knew this is the one Monk would pick. Just knew it. But we still went to the wall of animals to pick out her new friend.

Here’s the problem with taking a 2 year old to pick out her own stuffed animal and then pick out clothes for it. Too. Many. Choices.

After pointing to and saying that she wanted the Hello Kitty doll first, she had to look at every single other animal and creature. Twice. And still chose the red Hello Kitty she saw first. Duh.

Then we stopped by the stuffing station and a very nice young man filled Hello Kitty with enough fluff to make her nice and huggable but not stiff. And they put a special little heart inside that, get this, is like Lost-Lovey-Lo-Jack. Seriously. If her favorite dolly gets lost and someone is nice enough to return it to Build-A-Bear they will return it to us. How cool is that?

After her new Kitty was all stuffed and sewn up we stepped over to the doll bath. Complete with foot-pedal powered hair dryers and stiff little fur brushes.

Then came the really fun part. Picking out clothes and shoes to bedazzle Kitty with. Of course she picked a pair of red sparkly shoes right off the bat. And after looking at every single outfit in the joint she ended up with a sassy little tutu-skirted dress.

Then we were giving a dressing table, had all the tags removed from her outfit and got Kitty dressed. Then it took almost 5 full minutes to squeeze Kitty’s chubby foot into one of her fancy red sparkle sandals. Yes…5 minutes for one shoe.

I guess I was a bit excited about it finally getting that shoe on…

And once the whole outfit was on, Cedella said “Awwwwww…she’s so cute. Now we have to pay for her Mommy?”

Love this child. She’s starting to get it.

And she has a new favorite store. We were there for over an hour and could have been there all day. It was that fun for her.

Her name is Ruby Hello Kitty Kat. And Cedella has officially found her new favorite dolly.

When I explained to her that it was a gift from her cousin Milan she said “Really?” And smiled.

I wish she understood. But guess that means that Ruby will be joining us on a trip to Cleveland this summer to say thanks in person.




(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Playing with Jack

After trying to coordinate this playdate for over a year, we finally got a chance to go and hang with my friend Kristy and her delicious little boy Jack. I held him when he was just a newbie, played with him when he was still small and portable at my shower, but hadn’t seen the full-slown toddler he had become. And Kristy still hadn’t met Cedella. I know…we suck.

But we got together and it was fabulous! The kids got along really well and Cedella totally dug all of Jack’s big kid tools. Especially his Cozy Coupe. It was all I could do to pry her out of that thing. If any of the Grandmas are reading this…Monk needs a Cozy Coupe please. ASAP. Thanks.

Adorable Jack. Moving too much for a clear picture…

Can I get a ride?

So…play here often?

A little mid-playdate yoga. Gotta keep limber.

She was absolutely smitten.

But slightly more enamored with the Cozy Coupe.