Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Do kids get reality and imagination confused? My 4 year old's contribution to the debate.

Put them together: MONKEY PANCAKES!
Last week I took my 4 year old, M, to the park to enjoy the last rays of the dying Northwest sun before it disappears forever leaving us in the unending gray of clammy Sister Winter.

I was helping her across the monkey bars, where of course, she was pretending to be a monkey. Every time she fell off I would say, "Oops, you fell in the lava" and take her back to the beginning. After a few tries I guess she got tired of that.

She looked me in the eye and said, "Don't pretend it's lava any more."

"Okay," I said.

She said, "Don't pretend it's water, either."

I said fine. But what should I pretend it is?

"Pretend it's a sidewalk," she said, an exercise I found relatively simple because it was, in fact, a sidewalk.

Later I was telling her to pretend to be a pancake. They do this in swimming class, where she puts her head on her coach's shoulder and spreads her body out flat while floating on her back. "Pretend to be a pancake," I said.

She put her head on my shoulder and said, "Just don't put me on the grill, because then I'll get lots of burns and need some band-aids."