It’s funny how we, as adults, get to move in and out of the realms of childhood imagination.
Over the last few months, Grace’s ability to pretend and imagine has blossomed. We have a play routine now on our drives home. First we talk about birds, which usually involves us shouting ‘WOODPECKER!’ at each other for 10 minutes and then delves into a conversation where I am expected to name every kind of bird I can think of and she decides who gets what bird.
Blue Jay- Daddy’s bird
Chickadee- Clare’s bird
Sparrow- Ricky’s bird
Cardinal- My bird
Pigeon- Her bird
Penguin- Daddy’s bird
Flamingo- Her bird
Eagle- My bird
Hawk- Clare’s bird
Raven- Her bird
Oriole- Daddy’s bird
Robin- Her bird
Seagull- Clare’s bird
WOODPECKER! – Her bird
And then she takes it all back.
‘Mama, I don’t want to share. All the birds in the world are mine, ok?’
Next we move onto monsters.
They are pink and purple and yellow and blue and every imaginable shade of the rainbow with polka-dots and glitter sparkles. They seem to live in the trees of the wooded roadside we pass driving home. They are easily deterred from coming into the car by singing The Monster Boogie and if they do penetrate the force field of our voices, they are plucked out the air and eaten. I tend to think Grace leaves holes in her force field to allow for the monster snacks, as they apparently taste like taffy and cotton candy.
There are dozens of other games, but these are the top two lately and occupy us for the majority of our 45 minute drive home. Yesterday, I was unknowingly pulled into another imagination.
I go to the daycare to see Clare during my lunch break, sneaking in and out without notice most days. This time I was pummeled with questions from the older children in the center.
‘Gracie’s mommy! Gracie’s mommy! You’re Clare’s mommy too, right?’
‘S says that Clare is a boy’s name! Tell him it ISN’T a boys’ name because it is Gracie’s sisters name and Gracie’s sister is a GIRL!’
Of course it is a girls name! S, you are full of hooey!
**To which S grinned, bashfully looked down at the ground digging his Crocs into the dirt.**
I had no idea what on Earth they were talking about and why Clare was involved, but forgot all about the conversation moments later.
I love moving in and out of the realms of childhood imagination…. And sometimes, unbeknownst to at the time, become part of the story.