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to find the 'babies' rather unsettling

(89 Posts)
RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 20-Oct-16 09:44:48

DD is 8 and an only child so playing with her dolls is really important to her. However she involves me totally in the game and although I've tried to persuade her that she's the mum and I'm the granny she's having none of that and insists she's the big sister.

However, they come bloody everywhere with us and she talks loudly to me about the 'twins' and what they're doing and tries to get me to pick them up and change their nappies or give them a bottle. It's hugely embarrassing.

I can't say I enjoy the game in any way, their horrible stare-y eyes freak me out for a start. But the other day we were in B&Q, the 'babies' went in the seat at the front of the trolley and a woman came up to me and said she'd thought they were real at first. I felt like I was one of those strange re-born women and found it hard to raise a laugh even though she was only being friendly.

There's no doubt IABU as DD is only little and the game is important to her but surely I'm not BU to find the dolls creepy and unnerving? Please tell me I'm not!!

timeforabrewnow Thu 20-Oct-16 09:48:20

Hi -

Three words for you 'Get A Grip'

Maybe secretly you would like to be one of those reborn women? Hehehe

Snowflakes1122 Thu 20-Oct-16 09:52:41

timeforabrewnow- No need to be so nasty!

OP-it's just a phase. She'll grow out of it. My DC has several creepy dolls that resemble something out of the film Chucky.

GinIsIn Thu 20-Oct-16 09:53:57

Oh god YANBU - that would creep me out too. Have you tried convincing DD that the dolls don't like going outside?!

KittyandTeal Thu 20-Oct-16 09:54:05

Nope, not unreasonable at all.

Your dd sounds like my dd1 who is 4. She's growing up an only and loves her dolls. The babies are important to her, although I'm usually excluded from the games because I don't do it right (you missed a trick there)

I absolutely get the creepy eyed dolls. Dd1 was desperate for a new baby for her bday. We dutifully plodded around toys r us looking for one. They all make bloody noises or move. I found one that I thought was 'safe' only to find it sucks a bloody dummy and moves its head. I shrieked and threw it at dh blush who thought the whole thing was hilarious.

londonrach Thu 20-Oct-16 09:54:10

You are not, as a child i never liked dolls as they looked too real. Im not sure why buts its the glass eyes. My dsis loved them so if we played together i used a soft dog instead. my dd is too young for toys at the moment although someone has bought her a rag doll which is very cute. Im not looking forward to the dolls bit. My mum never liked dolls either but my uncle did so they swapped toys.

There must be a word for feal of dolls

londonrach Thu 20-Oct-16 09:54:29

Fear not feal

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 20-Oct-16 09:59:30

I have a 'sitter' called Janet!! 'Janet' is also hugely involved in the game and I regularly have to pay her for the (excessive) hours she's expected to put in!!

herbwife Thu 20-Oct-16 10:01:55

There is - pediophobia (googled it).

LadyMoth Thu 20-Oct-16 10:05:08

I think YANBU OP. I actually find any kind of make-believe game really difficult to sustain and feel uncomfortable/stressed when doing it. I have done countless hours of it with both my DC but now so relieved they are older and more into art and craft. And if you specifically don't like dolls it must be very draining. Some parents find this stuff easy and fun, some really don't.

Dolls are creepy, it's an "uncanny valley" thing (the way they look almost real but not quite, unlike say a teddy). I also never liked them as a child.

Bear2014 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:07:38

YANBU. My DD (almost 3) absolutely loves playing with 'babies' and will do so at any opportunity. I try to be enthusiastic and smiley about it, but we're going into our 4th IVF cycle this year and I just find it upsetting and depressing TBH.

timeforabrewnow Thu 20-Oct-16 10:12:25

Oh - I wasn't trying to be nasty - I honestly think after reading this thread that you all need to get a grip. It's a little girl playing with dolls - you are the grown ups and can distinguish between what is real and what isn't.

However, Bear2014 that does sound hard for you flowers

5moreminutes Thu 20-Oct-16 10:14:00


I love doing things with my kids (taking them places, teaching them things, reading to themmaking things together etc. and playing board games and card games is fine too) but I have never actually enjoyed or liked taking part actively in the extensive fantasy/ make believe games. I did it when they are little (preschool) but the bigger they get the less willing I am to take part.

Of course 2 out of 3 of my children played these fantasy games extensively and in an all consuming way - it is not an only child only phenomenon grin Luckily with siblings the natural course of things is for them to include the sibling/s in the game, which takes the pressure to be immersivly involved off the parent! Doesn't work as well with the youngest child though, especially when the middle one is the one who doesn't naturally play in this way, so the youngest is looking to a sibling 5 years older for a playmate, and the older child has finally grown out of it for the most part... shock

TBH I would not actively take part in the doll babies fantasy outside the house for an 8 year old and don't think you are obliged to. As long as you allow your DD to continue playing 8 is old enough to make it clear you won't be playing this game outside the house.

5moreminutes Thu 20-Oct-16 10:19:47

I do actually love that my kids can/ did play in this way, I love watching and listening to them play - I just don't enjoy joining in the immersive imaginative play myself, and largely decline to do so after about the age of 5!

My youngest is nearly 6 tends to pretend to be a robot atm and that is easier to play along with than pretending to believe dolls are real live babies! grin

Bear flowers that is a different level of difficult.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 20-Oct-16 10:20:57

TBH I would not actively take part in the doll babies fantasy outside the house for an 8 year old and don't think you are obliged to. As long as you allow your DD to continue playing 8 is old enough to make it clear you won't be playing this game outside the house.

Oh dear, do you think so? I know I baby DD a lot so perhaps she is a bit old for this. But I don't see how I can stop it without really upsetting her. She went through a phase where she was embarrassed to be seen with her pram in case her friends laughed at her and I felt so sorry for her because it seemed peer pressure rather than her making a decision to stop. So when it started again I encouraged her to enjoy herself. Didn't think it would go to these lengths though! In her mind the babies are the sisters she really wants but will never have so although I find it truly uncomfortable I'm a bit stuck. I even hate carrying them around the house.

One wees and the other one sucks its thumb when it's switched on, makes an absolutely foul noise.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 20-Oct-16 10:21:56

Bear flowers

ItShouldHaveBeenJessMass Thu 20-Oct-16 10:22:36

I suppose you have to remind yourself she's eight and in another couple of years or so, her interests will change. You may even end up missing the 'babies'!

Bear2014 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:24:38

Thanks all - didn't mean to hijack the thread! I've always found dolls lame at best, creepy at worst so don't think that helps ;o)

I don't have any experience of 8 year olds but if it bothers you that much I think you could probably have a chat with her about it.

pictish Thu 20-Oct-16 10:25:53

I agree with 5moreminutes.

Like her I am great with activities, reading, trips out, games and learning but do not ask me to participate in make believe - I am not good at it and find it tedious. It's a child's prerogative to indulge in it of course, but also my prerogative as an adult to not.

I wouldn't entertaining 'the twins' outside the home for my eight year old and nor would I feel obliged to. At 8 she is old enough to understand that you don't enjoy it and respect your wishes.

ItShouldHaveBeenJessMass Thu 20-Oct-16 10:28:30

Also, I suppose it could be worse. When my Dsis and I were around the same age, we had a strange obsession with the poverty in Victorian London (not quite sure why....). According to my mum, a lot of the role-playing games we played in the garden, involved one or the other of us yelling about how our dad would beat us with a stick, or that we had to go up the chimney in a bit. My mums says she used to cringe at what our neighbours made of it.....

Vagndidit Thu 20-Oct-16 10:34:17

DS (8) is also an only and whilst we don't play with The Dolls, we do have The Cats who come everywhere with us. DS talks very fondly of his pets and they are involved in hours of imaginary games. His friends who have come round are baffled to discover they're only plushy toys and not real. I can only imagine he talks to anyone who'll lisren about his beloved "pets."

Admittedly, I guiltily roll along with it because I also grew up as an only child and was really sad my parents never wanted to play with me. I just grit my teeth and play along smile

IceBeing Thu 20-Oct-16 10:34:25

I am with kitty, I am sure if you are really bad at the role playing, and get things wrong enough she'll prefer to fill in your bits herself.

This happens a lot with me and DD, because I am just mostly shit at role play and always get things wrong

5moreminutes Thu 20-Oct-16 10:43:02

Rebecca I wouldn't discourage her from playing with the dolls herself, 8 is still a perfectly normal age to play with dolls (even if your mum secretly doesn't like dolls grin ) but I absolutely would stop actively playing too outside the house by age 8.

It sounds really hard because what your DD actually seems to want is for you to primarily play with the dolls, and she has cast herself in the secondary role as big sister. I can see why that makes it harder to ease out of role or passively allow her to play without taking part than it would be if she was pretending to be the dolls' mum and you were basically a bystander who simply had to tactfully avoid actively pointing out that the babies are not real, or picking them up by the foot or anything...

You might have to talk to her and tell her mummy doesn't really enjoy the game but it's lovely that she does... It does sound hard if you not playing will shatter her imaginary world.

Maybe the babies should go to nursery for quite long days...

Does she spend much time with friends? Perhaps if you had her friends around lots she would not be quite so immersed in the imaginary sibling game. Just make sure its not always the same friend - my neighbour tried to put permanent dibs on my DC2 for a similar purpose and we had to claim him back after a while as it was getting a bit much! wink smile

5moreminutes Thu 20-Oct-16 10:48:19

Offering to do some long stretches of daytime babysitting with DD in tow might disillusion her a bit about the delights of baby siblings grin

Also babies grow up - you could take another tack and have the babies become toddlers and adopt an Elf-On-The-Shelf-On-Acid approach and have the now crawling and toddling twins destroy all her games, eat pieces from her puzzles, rip her books, vomit mashed up milky weetabix on her favourite top and school books, pull her hair, cry loudly and relentlessly during her favourite TV programme, need your attention every time she wants your help with anything non doll related...

grin grin

SallyR0se Thu 20-Oct-16 10:48:39

When I was a little girl my favourite baby doll was a different skin colour to us. Mum used to put her in the stroller & pretend we'd adopted her from another country. She was our baby sister!

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