Melody went through a stage when Charlie was born and then repeated it when Dixie came to live with us. It was, and still often is, important to her to assign familial roles to EVERYTHING.
At the zoo she has to know which giraffe is the Mommy and which is the Daddy. If there is a big monkey and a small monkey, she gets sad that there is only a Mommy and Baby, but nooooo Daddy! And if there is a poor zebra that has only a Mommy and Daddy but no Big Sister? Shocking and heartbreaking. At the turtle pond, she has entire extended families of Omas, Papas, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, Brothers, Mothers and Fathers for the turtle lucky enough to be deemed Baby.
I know that the family unit is the most important structure of her life. It can be extremely confusing to her that Trey is my Brother, but Oma's Son, her Uncle and Big Sara's Daddy. So sorting things out is confusing. I grant her that. Especially when you go to Oma's for Christmas one year and the tall people start saying, "Hey, Melody! You want a kid to come play? Do you like this kid? Would you like to take this kid home as a sister who is taller than you, older stronger, knows more and will suddenly have a completely equal share in your toys, books, games, pets and parents?" Especially when the Baby In Mommy's Tummy had recently proved to not be a mere fairy tale but an actual pooping, peeing, eating, crying, attention-demanding real-life Baby Brother.
I can see why she needs to analyze this. I can see why she needs her dollies to have familial constructs and why a poor hyena at the zoo would be sad far away from his Mommy. It is irritating that every cage at the zoo or family at Wal*Mart without exactly four members filling in the four proper categories, but she is a child trying to understand her world. Fine. I get it.
I knew things had been taken waaaay too far the day that she started looking in the bowl after pooping and making sure that there were appropriate members of the Poop Family before she sent them swimmingly along their merry way. If there was a Mommy Poop and a Baby Poop, she sent them happily off to go find Daddy. The occasional grouping of large numbers of Baby Poops was merely Friends Playing.
One day I hear sobbing from the bathroom. Not sniffling, not whining--all-out sobbing. Expecting to find out that she accidentally flushed down her favorite animal or that she had just had an accident of momentous proportions, I race in.
There was a Baby Poop. All alone. And it didn't have a Mommy or Daddy Poop to flush down with it and it was going to be So Scared. She wanted to me Please, Oh, Please Mommy--make a Mommy Poop to send along so the Baby won't Cry and Cry and Cry. But Mommy, you Have To. Please?!!??!?!?!