Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For the love of stuffed animals

Camille and Umberto were never really into stuffed animals. They had tons of course because people seem utterly unable to resist those fuzzy toys. But they were not the first things that those two went for when it came time to play. Camille's always had one or two that she grows attached to...(her Puff dragon and her dog "Exit.").

But Piper....Piper loves stuffed animals. She doesn't really like dolls but she loves her animals. She babies them. Feeds them bottles, tucks them into bed, and lately has even started to dress them up. She names them: "Ching Po aka the Chinese Kitty." "Jack." "Baker Maker." "Fluffy." Most of them are stuffed cats. She carries them everywhere. We can get out the door without at least two. You see me walking in Charlotte, 9 times out of 10, there will be a stuffed cat with its head popping out of my pocketbook.

So even while the growth of stuffed animals drives me crazy (we've already got two containers from Ikea filled to overflowing), I think they're a good toy. Why? Because Piper creates with them. She makes up stories, adventures for the animals to fall into. She sings songs that she's made up about them and their travels through her imaginary world. And she brings Camille and Umberto (as well as other friends) into her games. They'll spend hours not watching t.v. but creating new worlds. It's the kind of old fashion play that everyone says doesn't happen anymore. I figure they need to come down to my place and check out the adventures of Chinese kitty and his pal Baker Maker.

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