He loves to burp his baby doll just the way I showed him how, back when he was two and Christmas was just over and the little blue-jammied doll lay on the floor, a plastic play bottle beside her.
It’s a she, he told me, her name is Baby.
Still it is a she, Baby, still in the blue jammies hiding the cheap cloth body.
I worked hard to find a boy baby, eventually giving up and trying Wal-Mart and finding a small soft one days before Christmas. By spring they were everywhere, soft dolls, plastic dolls, big dolls, small dolls and even anatomically correct dolls.
But he already had the one he loved.
This one was soft, great for sleeping with, cuddling with, light enough to hold, cherish and drop from between the rails on the second story to the tile hallway with a glorious thunk of her plastic head.
He is a boy after all, and gravity is awesome.
Baby has pen marks on her head and stains from spilled water and juice, still wearing the same soft smile and eyes only for her Daddy.
You are this baby’s daddy, I told him, and I showed him how to take care of her.
He was complimented on a play date with a friend of his grandmama’s by how well he played with the dolls, carrying them right and burping them after feeding them, just the way I showed him.
He loved making a fake burp sound and always congratulated the baby just like new parents do.
We offered up wipes to the diaper gods by using the dotted target wipes on Baby’s behind, the jammies ripped off in careless fashion.
Her feet folded over her head as I showed him how to wipe a bottom, eventually his hand taking over as he told me she needed a diaper change and he lovingly yanked off the jammie pants and wiped her white cloth body thoroughly.
I highly recommend baby dolls for boys.
I got him a doll after seeing how much he liked playing with them, his caring side showing as he loved on a little girl’s doll at a playdate, the three boys there fighting over the doll, a toy none of them at home.
My son isn’t the only one of his friends who plays with one after that play date.
While I picked out Wonder Boy’s Baby, one of his friends picked out the baby doll with the pink backpack carrier and proudly took it often to the park, exciting comments from the gallery of parents and kids as he played with his baby on the slide, his parents both watching fondly as he enjoyed his time in the sunshine.
Wonder Boy’s baby doll has been an educational tool for a gentle touch, how to treat others and how to prepare for a new baby brother.
He wants to feed him, love on him, hold him. The world right now spins around his baby brother.
But a baby who is a third of your body weight and requires that ‘gentle touch’ is sometimes off-limits, especially when he is asleep in the swing and nonono do not touch him.
Instead he can treat his Baby however he wants and fawn all over her like a grandparent over a fussy baby. He can hold her and rock her and sing to her or he can shove her in a backpack and be off to ‘work’ or ‘school’.
Last night he was feeling sick, and when he went to bed he called out for help getting his Baby, who was laying on the floor nearby, her bottle miraculously by her instead of downstairs and lost like it often has been.
He fed her, burped her, flopped her back and forth until she hit his chest hard enough to make him say ‘ow’ and then he was ready for sleep, Baby tucked in beside him.
My son, the one who knows all the Cars characters by name and makes impressive vroom noises as he acts out life-or-death scenarios. The one who loves to watch football with Daddy. The boy who dumps out his Duplo boxes to fashion guns that he waves back and forth chasing bad guys until their rickety structure explodes all over the kitchen floor.
Already a loving Daddy to his Baby doll and a loving big brother to his baby brother.
We’ll see if Baby isn’t shoved out of bed during the night- cosleeping with Wonder Boy is an adventure in avoiding arms and legs.