V turned one last week, on the day before Halloween. S wanted to get her a baby doll for her birthday. It is the same gift she tried to get for the last two girl birthday parties we went to. I said “no” for the girl turning 3 as surely she had enough babies. S went along with my “Birthday Barbie” choice at the store but the day of the party she shared her angst over giving this friend a Barbie when she, S, had wanted to get a baby doll. The next party we went to was for girl turning one so I encouraged the baby doll choice, and we even got a little pink umbrella stroller to go with it. S insisted we not wrap this gift and happily wheeled the baby in to the party in the stroller.
For the next two months, whenever the subject of V’s upcoming birthday came up S would tell me about the baby she was going to buy V, along with a pink doll stroller. When we finally went to the store I asked S if she really wanted the stroller for V, or did she want it for herself? S freely admitted that she herself wanted the stroller — “But we can share it!” Ah. I am so glad that sharing thing is working out so well.
We got a lovely baby doll, Jenna, for V, with blue eyes just as V has. She was very happy when it was unwrapped and gave Jenna a hug. So cute. We put Jenna in the crib that night and when I got V out of the crib in the morning she brought Jenna with her. That may be the last time she was able to play with Jenna alone.
After a week of wrestling Jenna away from S, scolding her for putting Jenna on a high shelf out of V’s reach, trying to reason with S about doll ownership and sharing equality, it finally hit me: S didn’t just want the stroller for herself, she wanted a new doll, too.