I went through something similar, once upon a time.
|Me, age three-ish|
When Mari started her baby doll phase, my mom and I thought of Jennifer and her big buttons, the perfect size for little hands. And so for Christmas, Mari (and Jennifer) got a friend, complete with a wardrobe made from Mari's outgrown clothes.
Not surprisingly, Mari thought her new doll was wonderful and was especially taken with the fact that it was just like Mama's old doll. The two dolls are a pair in her mind, not to be separated. If she is playing with one, she makes sure someone else is tending to the other, and she insists they share the same box when her playthings are put away.
There is a certain sweetness in seeing her tiny fingers fumbling as she buttons on an outfit made of clothing I once wore so long ago, in taking in her delight at the doll that is just like her and remembering my own long ago joy. Watching the echoes of my childhood in my own children is quieting, connecting--comforting in a way I did not know to anticipate when parenthood was still just an imagined dream.