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From pretty much the moment they could talk, both of my daughters have loved pretend-play.
3YO: “Mom, you be the baby and I’ll be the mom and I’m going to Costco to get Diet Coke!” (The Costco part is my fault but I blame Carl the Dog for the fact that she would leave me home alone.)
I don’t mind so much being the baby -- at least I get to lie down and sometimes there’s a warm beverage involved. But honestly, my capacity for sitting on the couch pretending we are riding in a bus that turns into a duck and takes you out in the ocean is fairly limited.
3YO: “Mommy, you didn’t buckle your seat belt.”
Me: “Sorry, I didn’t realize the duck-bus had seat belts.” [Buckles pretend seat-belt.]
3YO: “You didn’t shut your door either.”
Me: “Or doors.” [Closes (slams) imaginary door.]
3YO: “And you left your baby at the bus station.”
Me: “Silly me! Always forgetting the baby somewhere.” [Unbuckles pretend seat belt, opens imaginary door, retrieves invisible baby from nonexistent bus station bench and returns to make-believe duck-bus, pleased with self for remembering both door and seat belt.]
3YO: “You didn’t buckle your baby.”
Me [silently]: This is why I made you a sister.
Trust me when I say that I believe that few things are as important as fostering imagination in children. I purposely limit “screen time” (TV, computer, iGadgets) and I’m proud of the fact that my girls are creative and artistic and actually know how to use their minds. But sometimes I just don’t want to be the baby.
And while I used to feel a twinge of guilt every time I worked through my mental to-do list on Round Seven of Let's Have a Picnic -- or offered to play the sleeping baby, I've heard from enough friends who've been there that I'm not the only one.
Plus, watch our series Oh, Really? about Board Game fun facts!