My daughters, age 4 and 2 1/2, are always grouping everything we see into a family unit. It doesn't matter what it is, there is always a mommy and a baby, and depending on the number of items, a daddy and brothers and sisters. It has been this way for as long as I can remember with my girls, though not for my oldest, who happens to be a boy.
I'm not really sure why they group everything this way, although I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that 95% (or more) of their time is spent with us, their family. I'm also sure it has something to do with estrogen, because Ian did not have the desire to group everything into nice little family units.
Nonetheless, it provides for some fun and funny explanations of things we see on our everyday adventures.
For example, at our old house, the neighbor who lived directly behind us had two dogs, a little white fluffy thing and a big golden Lab. Emma and Zoe were both convinced the Lab was the white dog's Mommy. Anytime we saw them outside it was, "Where is the baby?" or, "The baby wants her Mommy."
Last Sunday when we were driving home from dinner at my mother-in-law's, we saw an air-blown inflatable Halloween decoration. It was three jack o'lanterns stacked on top of one another. Emma immediately said it was a daddy, mommy and baby pumpkin. Ditto for the three ghosts coming out of a pumpkin at another house.
But today had to be my favorite example of the Mommy/ Baby grouping. Ian had set up several action figures on his train table and wanted to play "war" with me. (Notice, no families, just teams of heroes, bad guys and one robotic T-Rex wanting to beat the tar out of each other.) As each figure became eliminated from the game, Ian generously told his little sisters they could play with them.
Zoe found two Spidermans, one smaller than the other. She giggled with delight when she saw they were the same character, and turned to me and said, "Mommy and baby." Then she made the little Spiderman cry for his mommy and the mommy Spiderman gave him a hug and made baby Spiderman feel better.
I doubt any Spiderman action figure creator (or brother) ever imagined them being played with like that!