When we took the kids to MegaBabyStore to get their photos done, I showed the girl a little doll that was on a display near the photo studio. I was just hoping to engage her attention for a moment while her brother was having his jacket put on. She immediately took the doll from me and hugged it, then patted it's hair and said "awww, baby". The doll then got a kiss and another hug. By then the boy was jacketed, but I could tell that we wouldn't be leaving right away. The girl was now cheek to cheek with the doll, still cooing at it and saying "baby". We eventually convinced her to say bye-bye to the doll, and were able to leave. There were some sad noises, and a short round of tears, but it was over quickly and she was distracted by the cold wind outside.
Now I really know why so many kids have such a huge array of toys and stuffed animals. It was so hard for me to leave that doll behind when the girl clearly loved it so much. But, very soon she will have an even better doll to love and hug. A few months ago, I purchased the materials to make both kids their own dolls, intending to have them finished for their birthday. I ended up deciding to wait a bit longer, as they hadn't shown any interest in dolls or stuffed toys. Wouldn't you know that the day before their birthday is when the girl decides to discover dolls. Now I know what my next project will be.