Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Playroom: Pretend Play Fail!

Kate pretending to sleep outside...

This afternoon my oldest daughter Kate presented herself in pretend play as a little girl named "Toy" (very creative, I know). Now after much questioning and going along with her, I determined that "Kate" was with her daddy on campus and would be eating dinner with him, but "Toy" was ready to eat macaroni and cheese with us.

At age 3, Kate's never really done much pretend play before, and I was surprised at how creative she was being. For example, she called her mom on the phone to ask if she could spend the night. Her mom was actually in Canada. Which is very far away. She also wanted to make sure there would be a bed for her to sleep in-- oh and is that bed with the baby? (Of course, Kate knows that she sleeps in the same room with baby McKenzie..)

After ten minutes of making pretend macaroni and cheese and requiring Kylie to call her "Toy"-- which she requested that I make sure Kylie only called her "Toy", she did something quite defiant. I honestly can't recall what it was that she did but I responded "Now Toy, if you can't follow our house rules, you'll have to go home." "Toy" crossed her arms and walked away. I started to think to myself, this is a great opportunity to help her learn how to operate when she's at a friend's house, so I persisted, "Toy, please look at me and say 'Yes, Mrs. B.'" Again, she "hmphed" and turned away from me, all in a spirit of fun and acting (or so I thought...) So, I responded, "Toy, we'll need to call your mommy to come and pick you up from Canada."

At this point, Kate (not "Toy", mind you) broke down in drippy, droppy tears. Through broken sobs I could barely make out what she was saying, "But this is my home, if I have to leave, where will I go? I can't go to Canada-- they don't have beds there.... just..... food!"

So, my friends, if you ever think that your child is ready for pretend play, don't play along by threatening to kick her out of the house. It won't go over well I tell you. It won't go over well.

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