You know how some kids will pretend to have an invisible friend? My six year old has had one of these for 3 1/2 years - the same friend. And not only has she stuck around to win an award for "longest surviving invisible friend" but we also know everything about her family.
This invisible friend, Gootka, has a little sister named Geesie, and a little brother named Austen. I really don't know how Austen ended up being the only child with a normal name. Also, her mom is from Mexico, and her dad is a blond American. And when I was on bedrest with Number Four, Gootka's mom died. And then Gootka, Geesie and Austen had to go live in China with their grandma. But not the real China, just the one that's around the corner....is what I've been told.
Once when Two Bits (my six year old) was younger, and Gootka was still new we had this conversation:
Me: What are you doing?
TB: Playing cricket.
Me: Cricket? Really?
TB: Yeah, this is the bat, and then I have to hit these sticks.
At this point in life we didn't know much about the sport of cricket (to be honest, I still don't.) In fact, I remember being appalled that she even knew it existed. So I asked her where she found out about cricket. Her reply?
I was a little creeped out thinking that perhaps she had made friends with some kind of English ghost child. But then I remembered that Gootka isn't an English name, and that Grover had talked about cricket on Sesame Street.
Although Gootka doesn't come around nearly as much as she used to, my daughter is still exercising her imagination daily.
She was explaining the scenario to Opie so that he could play along:
"Ok, so you're a baby puppy, and I'm a girl, and our parents died and then our house burned down, so now we have live outside until the builder fixes the house. You can sleep here."
Usually imaginative play involves a baby, or a puppy, or a baby puppy. And most often than not the parents have to be dead. I don't know why. But it's always with dead parents.
A couple times I've said, "Hey guys, I'm right here! Why are your parents dead, if I'm right here?"
Two Bits usually reply is, "Our pretend parents. Sheeesh, Mom."
And then they usually run (or crawl or scamper, depending on what animal or age they are pretending to be) to go live in the woods/train/whatever. Sans parents.
I'm trying not to be offended.
On a completely different note, last night my boys would not go to sleep for TWO HOURS after I put them in bed. And they don't do "not going to bed" quietly. They do it loudly. Very VERY loudly. So finally I told them that if they didn't go to sleep I was going to come in their room and take away all of their toes.
Apparently my boys aren't too attached to their toes, because the threat didn't work at all.