In the world of a toddler, nothing is ordinary. My daughter has demonstrated her limitless imagination over the past several months, and the things she comes up with are fascinating. In her world, an empty clothesbasket becomes a “fishing boat” in which she can climb and pretend to fish for whales on the Oregon coast. Her nightstand is a stove and a counter on which she makes “supper” (usually pancakes). Her lamp (a Winnie-the-Pooh relic that used to belong to her daddy) is the supplier of ingredients for the pancakes as she pinches on Pooh’s ears and adds mysterious invisible flavorings to her yummy meal. Then she hands me an invisible pancake and warns me, “It’s very very hot, so be careful!”
A stick in the yard is a fishing pole and the flower bed is the pond. Her tricycle is a ride to the zoo, or sometimes the jungle, both of which exist at the end of our driveway. The neighboring homes and trees become the locations of various wild animals.
Oven mitts under each foot on the kitchen vinyl become “ice skates.” The ottoman becomes the check-out stand at her imaginary “Stuff Mart.” On her toy cell phone, she calls her “best friend” and holds a complete (one-sided) conversation.
If only my own pretending skills were as keen. I would pretend that there weren’t mountains of laundry always needing to be done, that I didn’t still have 18 pound of baby weight to lose, and that I was getting 10 hours of solid sleep every night.