Tuesday, June 1, 2010

:: Extended Family ::

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:

Kendall
Caroline
Nathan
Dominic
Bella
Jacob
Matthew
Ryan
Sammy
Joey
Annike
Maddie
Natalie

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?

10 comments:

Because of Love said...

Oh, I love this. You're house must be crowded with all of those guests!

Krista said...

Elijah doesn't have any set imaginary friends, he switches them up all the time. Mostly it is animals of some sort. And mostly it is THEM causing problems, not him. (Haha, yeah, nice excuse...) So, I am right there with you on some of this stuff. Like having to reprimand the imaginary friends along with Elijah. Otherwise he doesn't feel it's fair. (?!?) If it's no problem I will include them in the discipline, but sometimes he actually blames them for stuff and then I have to sit him down and talk about how they didn't do it, HE did. Sigh. Fun times, lol!

Erin said...

"I have to tell her 'friends' that they need to listen and obey or be sent home."
That made me really laugh. How cute.
But, I can understand the frustration in this. Ahhhh!!!

Stef said...

our kids have never had imaginary friends, but Rachel treats her dolls like they're real. My Mom says I did the same thing :) She brings me her 4 dolls, asks me to baby sit them and reminds me when to give them a bottle. If she notices that I put them down while I'm "baby sitting" she comes over and reminds me to hold them, rock them, sing to them, etc...
Its pretty funny!

I think its just Analise's imagination at work :)
Also, the wings... my sister-in-law bought Rachel a pair last week and she asks to wear them everywhere. So funny. Hers are pink :)

Stef said...

check this link out, Nini - I haven't read all of it (sorry) but I have a friend who recommends it to her friends.

http://www.wisegeek.com/is-it-healthy-for-my-child-to-have-an-imaginary-friend.htm

Blessing said...

Comes with the age, she will outgrow it....I must say, I love her carefree attitude.

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thecolorplaid said...

this just made my day. she is soooooo cute!

Bethany said...

Adorable. Yes, Tori has imaginary friends too. They change all the time though. One time they were really small... pocket-sized and she put them in a friends bucket. When it was time to go home I asked her to put the toy down and she started crying and throwing a fit. I wasn't aware that her imaginary friends were visiting or that she had made them a home in a bucket. Thankfully her Auntie realized what was going on in her mind and helped her transfer the imaginary pocket-sized friends into her hands so she could take them home- all was well again.

Sally said...

Great post. I wonder if our little man will have imaginary friends. I hope so... I sometimes have trouble with real people... :)

Sheilah said...

too young for imaginary friends around here but good to hear what's coming up down the road. i was laughing at loud at this post (left them at the store?! c'mon now Nini - how irresponsible). do you need to get a bigger car to fit everyone?