Analise has recently entered the world of imagination and she is going all out. She loves to play and pretend and use her imagination -- the only catch is that she is convinced she is not pretending. She will run around and have races, sit quietly and play with trains, talk about being in a castle, share her jewels, fly around like a fairy -- she will pretend for hours. She pretends she is with real friends and not-so-real friends. Of the not-so-real friends that are always 'at our house' are the Pteranodon family from the PBS show Dinosaur train. Yes, it's true, she plays with Mr. & Mrs. Pteranodon and their kids, Shiny, Tiny, and Don along with their adopted brother Buddy, the T-Rex. In fact, these dinosaurs were the first of her friends to join our extended family.
I have been 'parenting' thirteen extra people (not counting the dinosaurs) in the past few weeks. When I say parenting, I mean it in the sense that I sometimes I have to make sure they all make it in the car when we go somewhere. Some of them need pull ups for nap time. Some of them prefer to take baths while some like showers. I have to ask them what they would like for dinner. At times, in order to get her to listen and obey, I have to tell her 'friends' that they need to listen and obey or be sent home.
The list of guests that are currently at our house is as follows:
These are all real people. They are all her friends in real life and because of that, I think she has a hard time with the word pretending. In her mind, they are all really here -- ALL THE TIME.
I have ignored some of them, left some at the store, sprayed them with the hose...the list goes on. Poor Jameson doesn't have a chance. Obviously he can't see her friends, but he has managed to sit on them, take the toys they were playing with, and one time he had the nerve to lock one in the bathroom. It has been a bit of a challenge navigating these waters of imaginary friends.
I wholeheartedly encourage her imagination and I love pretending, but she gets very upset when I say she is pretending. She insists that she isn't pretending. This is her "I'm NOT pretending face".Most of the time I let her live in her pretend land...it is fun and creative, but at times it can be a bit too much. There are times when I have to correct her and remind her that Jameson is her real brother and that Markus and I are her real parents. She isn't allowed to break the rules because her 'mom' Bella told her it was okay. We love pretending, but rules are rules.
Do your kids have imaginary friends (or real friends that they imagine they are playing with)? Do they take it to a different level like my girl, and if so, how do you deal with it?