Ohmigosh, it's a HANDFUL having an imaginative little girl. I love it, for the most part...after all, I'm a writer, right? (I'm still practicing saying that and not making a snarky-face...I. Am. A. Writer. I think...) And writers appreciate imaginations, right?
Zoe has been busy over the last few weeks coming up with new ways to make herself laugh, and freak herself out.
Not long ago, we were home alone on a rainy Friday afternoon when, desperate for a new form of entertainment that did not involve a puzzle, I pulled out Zoe's Sock Monkey Tea Set (cutest tea set EVER!). We sat down at her little table in the den, and Zoe immediately set to making some tea. With her tea set. Fancy that!
Anyway, it wasn't so much the fact that she was making tea that was strikingly creative...it was all about the ingredients which which she chose to create her teas. I watched, speechless, laughing, before I thought to grab a little notebook to record her recipes. Here's they are:
- watermelon, peanut butter and jelly
- chocolate, vanilla and orange juice
- vanilla, ice cream and whipped cream (seriously, I wished that one was real!)
- almond, cranberry and apple juice
- chocolate, a plate, vanilla, milk and Doozer (our cat)
- banana, strawberry, pear and a musical instrument
- chocolate, a cup, vanilla, strawberry, orange and some Legos
- coffee, vanilla, a plate, an octopus, a helicopter, a rocket ship and a handful of monkeys.
As she said each ingredient, she picked up an imaginary something from the table or the floor near-by. Then, she'd carry the cup of "tea" over to our bookshelf, where she set it down to cook. I had to "drink" each cup, even the one that included an octopus, and pretend it was amazing. It was a fabulously fun game for both of us.
Another recent game she's developed includes one of her other favorite tasks: drawing. Zoe takes one of her Magna-Doodles and draws a random shape or two (frequently two joined circles, but sometimes she branches out). She then thrusts the doodle in my general direction.
The first time Charles heard her say this, he made Zoe repeat herself three times until he got it. Turn it into something. Put the words on it, Mommy.
I am supposed to turn her random shapes into some sort of recognizable picture and label it with the appropriate word. I draw cats, boats, dogs, rockets, ice cream cones, armadillos, and so on and so forth. I tend to get stuck on animals, and we tend to laugh a lot when playing. But the great thing about this game is that now, before she even turns three, she can sight-read about a dozen words. Cat. Hat. Dog. Turtle. Mommy. Daddy. And a bunch of others. It's FABULOUS. She understands what she can do, and wants to learn more. I can't wait until she can read more! And this all came about because she made up a silly little game.
Of course, you may know that there's another side to the imagination coin, right? And that's the sheer terror that comes with not quite being able to draw the line between real and make-believe.
Last week, when Zoe was sick, we watched a LOT of TV...it's not my favorite pass-time for her, but when you have a feverish child, there are only so many books you can read...so we watched Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, both of which are well-equipped with a terrifying evil witch. Then, this week, Charles put in The Wizard of Oz, after Zoe and I spent some time singing the songs in the car on the way home from school. And, well, the Wicked Witch of the West is maybe one of the scariest bad-guys in children's movie history, right?
So now Zoe is looking for witches everywhere she goes...she will no longer go into her closet on her own, and when going into a new room, she has to yell at the top of her voice, "Go away witch!!"
So far, we haven't had to deal with any nightmares, but I do know that's coming. She is my child, after all, and I've had nightmares my whole life, probably due to watching scary movies before I was quite ready for them...
You'd think I'd learn, right? But really, I love my child's imagination, and I'll take the bad with the good, any day. I love her.