Frances:  What would it be like if we had a playroom the size of our house?

Me: What makes you think we don’t?

Little pink houses 

Frances: Mummy, I think I’ve had enough of pink doll houses!


Frances: Oh, Mummy! Can I show you a video of a dollhouse that I want?

Miniature food

Frances doesn’t play independently: she won’t enter rooms by herself or stay on her own in one. So, keeping her entertained in summer is especially difficult.

Pink Cup Dad works at home, so it is essential that I keep Frances occupied.

Sometimes, I recruit Pink Cup Sister to spend quality time with her; mostly, however, I take part in whatever activity she’s doing.

The other day, she told me that she wanted me to make doll food for her à la her favourite vloggers.

So, recently, we’ve taken to crafting doll food using cornstarch dough and craft paints.

Below, I tried my hand at cucumber and bread and chocolate cake.

It’s quite a lot of work, but it has been worth it to try.  🙂

Horse-riding doll

We’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors lately due mostly to the weather but also to add to the realism of the horse-and-doll scenes.

Frances spends all of her doll time setting up scenarios but doesn’t actually play. Once the setup is achieved, she moves on to another scenario. There is no imagined interaction between the doll and her surroundings once everything is in place.

When she was being evaluated in 2013, the developmental paediatrician noted that her use of toys did not include storylines.

It’s subtle to the casual eye but very obvious once you know what you are seeing.

Dogs on display 

Frances lines up her many dogs…

We went to her favourite toy store after school yesterday so that she could spend her allowance. She ended up buying — you guessed it — dolls. (Dog figurines from Melissa & Doug.)

From very young toddlerhood to now, she has always lined up her toys.

In the world of dolls

The most recent doll development has been that Frances now watches people repair/restore old American Girl dolls on YouTube.

I don’t know how she found them, but there are many such videos featuring minute details of the process…

Doll crafting

Even though she has many doll houses and innumerable accessories, Frances has recently begun to craft (as above) her own using cardboard boxes, magazine pictures, and stickers.

She has been having such a hard time socially at school this year that I decided to help her today: I went through some old magazines, cut out photos and glued them to cardboard. 

It’s not much, but I’m hoping that, when she comes home, she’ll be so happy for the surprise that she won’t revisit the difficulties that she probably encountered today.

(It’s really heartbreaking to think of her playing by herself outside for an entire hour at recess time because she is having difficulty connecting with others.)