Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting In to Character

“Of all the delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real. ” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Imaginary play has become de rigueur around here lately.  If we aren't characters from a tv show or a book, we're a family of bunnies, cats, puppies, or a mixture.  Yesterday Daddy was a Komodo Dragon, I was a "pretend mommy", and Maeve was a baby.  But just a few hours earlier, we were Captain Hook, Smee, and Peter Pan, having adventures aboard the Jolly Roger.  We even found Pan's shadow - it had been stowed in the hold of the ship amongst some dead leaves.

And Maeve is a little unforgiving about our voices.  If she doesn't think we're doing a proper impression of the character she's assigned us, she starts passive-aggressively singing songs about how we could do the voice if we really tried.

And unlike before, she gets really immersed in these games.  We had to caution her against extending her imaginary play (based on an obscure cartoon) at a birthday party, where no one would know what she was talking about.  Luckily, she "turned into" Maeve right before we arrived at the party. 

I just want to say, though, this is the part of parenting I am exceedingly prepared for.  I'm an excellent pretender, I can go for hours.  So I feel like I'm really coming into my element here; I spent about an hour outside with Maeve yesterday playing pirates, wearing a snazzy pirate hat and yelling AVAST and such.  This part of parenting is no challenge for me, and I feel lucky to be included in her games.  It's a pretty special, private world that not that many people have entered.

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