Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Edgar and Other Imaginary Friends You Made Up

Like most parents, our bedtime routine with our three year old daughter involves a story. We have a VERY large selection of books to choose from and Miss. A has her favorites out of it. She loves Alice the Fairy by David Shannon, Alice in Wonderland, The Night Before Christmas (which we read a lot regardless of the season!), Cat In The Hat, and pretty much any other book that's L O N G. Reading is one part winding down at night and one part stall tactic.

More than anything else, however, Miss. A loves when we just make up a story. "Tell me a story? About me?" Her favorite story topics involve friends from preschool (re: her new boyfriend), a family friend's son, and her cousin. They inevitably end up all going to the park, the zoo, or on a picnic. Sometimes she wants to hear a story about Princess Alice and her sister Princess Kaylee. They often ride their horses out into the forest and discover all manner of mythical creature. Usually dragons, but not scary dragons, friendly ones.

Miss. A woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago. She does this sometimes and is very upset. What made matters worse was that the more she cried, the harder it was to breath. So this made her cry more. You get the idea. I needed to distract her and calm her down so that she could breath again, and hopefully, we could all get back to sleep. That's when Edgar was born. I told her a story about how Princess A and Baby K went to an apple orchard to collect apples for a pie. There they saw a bright pink bird in an apple tree with a funny call. It had long legs, curvy beak and long pink wings. They didn't know what it was, so they went quickly home to ask Mommy and Daddy, only to discover it had followed them! Mommy and Daddy looked the bird up in the Big Book of Birds and discovered it was a flamingo. He liked to eat tomatoes and must have mistaken the apples for them and gotten lost. ( At three in the morning I didn't know what flamingos ate and I didn't think Miss. A did either) Miss. A and Baby K fed Edgar tomatoes from their garden and he was so happy. Then a man from the zoo came and said thank you for taking care of Edgar and for feeding him. They were welcome to visit him at the zoo any time. The End.

Now Edgar is a permanent part of our waking hours. We talk about Edgar and how he's doing at the zoo. We colour pictures of him eating tomatoes. If we see a bird on TV or outside we wonder, did they know Edgar? Are they friends? It's funny how some things you desperately make up on the fly stick. Have you made something or someone up that's become a part of your children's own imagination and play?

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