Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Magic Years

When R was younger, she did some pretend play (making believe to talk on the telephone, for instance), which at the time I thought was charming and creative: but compared to her elaborate fantasy life now, it was small potatoes. She now spends many of her waking hours inhabiting other worlds via her imagination. She especially likes imitating books and TV shows she's seen, where she is usually the heroic main character and I am one (or all) of the supporting characters. Favorites include Dora or Diego from Dora the Explorer, Cubbi from Gummi BearsFrances the Badger, and Tintin.
Sometimes she is "Super Zora", who saves everyone (especially baby animals, who I have to imitate), sometimes she goes on picnics with all the stuffed animals (what she's doing above, thus the picnic blanket), sometimes she does the dishes (her plastic ones, in the bathroom sink as the kitchen sink is too high for her to reach)...Lately she's been wanting to reenact upsetting situations. Today she got in an argument with an older boy at the playgym (he was tearing down some stuffed blocks, Zora told him to stop, he didn't and so she pushed him--he was maybe 2-3 years older but Zora is not very timid). I scolded her for pushing and told her she had to use words: then she wanted to reenact the whole scene with me as the boy, I suppose as a kind of practice so that she could behave properly next time.
It's to the point that she rarely plays with her (many) toys, except as props in the fantasy games, when they are usually something else (pens become syringes for giving shots, books become birthday presents, the stuffed animals are all alive, etc, etc). And if B and I were cooperative, she would spend all day long playing pretend games, with us as the supporting cast. Unfortunately for R, our endurance for being Chang or Gusto or Boots is limited: usually I can only last for about 30 minutes before feeling like I will go crazy out of boredom. Sometimes I dread the little voice ordering me, "You be X".

Mostly, though, it's totally charming. I love it best when she is immersed in her fantasy play, quietly talking to herself as she acts out the different scenarios (like in the picture above): there is something so pure and beautiful about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment