So, we bought the American Girl doll in a middle class gesture to get Daughter attached to something other than her mother's tummy, fun though that has been. Daughter was thrilled by the doll in the catalog (and how did we ever get that first catalog through our door, anyway?). I bought a matching nightdress for doll and girl, because (cheap at heart) I know Daughter can wear nightgown all year, and through next winter as well. Although the doll will not outgrow hers, Daughter will, but first nightdresses just become... shorter.
Daughter named doll Sally. All day yesterday, the signs were good. Daughter spoke to Sally, took her everywhere, explained snow, and Christmas, and how to behave at a party ("don't take off your shoes, or your underwear").
However, today I'm a bit alarmed. The fear was that Daughter would not attach to Doll. I fear instead that Doll exerts more power than I gave American Girl credit for, and Daughter has become fetish object for Doll.
Daughter will only dress like the doll today, and wants to be called Sally as well. My tummy is also feeling a little slighted.
However, we did have a visit from The Man Himself on Christmas Eve, braving ice and snow on the busiest day of the year. It is Santa as we have him in a wall of pictures, one from each year, framed in the hall. But as we were missed off the studio call list this year, Santa took pity, and paid a personal visit.