Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Playing like a 4-year-old

As parents, we are often left wondering if the idiosyncracies exhibited by our children are common among their peers, or whether it's "just them". At least I am. So it's always terribly refreshing to see other kids displaying the same behaviours. It comforts me to know that my child isn't the only crazy one. 

Take pretend play, for example. E loves to pretend. It's her favourite thing to do. The only problem is that I feel that, considering she loves it so much and does it so often, she should probably be better at it. Because, in my opinion, stating who you are pretending to be over and over again isn't really pretending…I mean, it's barely even playing. But she gets a big kick out of "Let's pretend that I'm Tiger Lily." … "I'm Tiger Lily."…"Remember, I'm Tiger Lily."…"Mom, do you remember that I'm Tiger Lily?"… Oh, I remember. It's just that I'm so bored that my brain has shut down so please forgive me if I don't address you as Tiger Lily every fifteen seconds so that you know that I know that you're TIGER LILY.

I feel that it's my job to try to progress things somewhat, that perhaps I can help her expand her imaginative abilities by conjuring up scenarios in which Tiger Lily might find herself. Now, to be clear, I'm not incredibly imaginative, but I'd like to be and so I try to be. But for the most part, any effort on my part to advance the plot in any way is instantly struck down in favour of simply running around shouting "I'm Tiger Lily! Loodoloodoloodoloodolooooo!" (Please note: Terribly racist "redskin singing" was learned from a live production of Peter Pan and not from terribly racist parents.)

Which leaves me to wonder, why does her imagination suck so badly?  

Enter our trip to Brooklyn and ten days spent with other 4-year-old extraordinaire, Zoey. E and Zoey pretended to be fairies for approximately 8.5 days out of 10. Sometimes one was Tinkerbell and the other was Periwinkle. Sometimes they were both Tinkerbell or both Periwinkle. Sometimes one was Silvermist and one was Fawn. Sometimes one was Rosetta and one was Silvermist. You get the idea. But I'll be damned if a plotline ever surfaced out of the hours of negotiation over character selection. I heard the phrase "But there has to be a Tinkerbell!" or "We can't both be Periwinkle!" about a gazillion times, and all I could think was "WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DOES IT MATTER WHEN NO ONE EVER ACTUALLY DOES ANYTHING??!!!" But, aside from the bickering over what to call each other, they never seemed to feel the need for anything as complex as a storyline. 

Huh. I guess that's the beauty of being a kid. Being entertained by really, really boring stuff.

Fairies at Barclay's Center 

Bedroom Fairies 

Fairies drinking hot chocolate

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