Friday, 22 March 2013

Imagination Formation

I can remember being little and imagining crazy scenarios and exciting people and risky adventures. I can recall my brother and I making a mess by make-believing the bath tub as a water slide. I can call to mind, as I was a very shy girl, numerous occasions where I got caught talking to myself and was quite embarrassed.

Now I am watching my daughter's daydreams awaken. For some time already, she has been analytically imitating. She enjoys playing with objects mommy and daddy use more than she does her own toys. Pots and pans, cutlery, boxes, remotes, keys. Moving bottles from the shower or the spice cupboard and carefully arranging them elsewhere. Thoroughly washing everything with a cloth or sweeping any surface with a little broom that my mom gave her. Animatedly talking on the phone while pacing. And stirring, stirring, stirring. I think she will be quite the little helper.

She is just now starting to expand her imagining. She will give her stuffed animals her sucky or a drink of water. She will eat pretend food and exclaim, "Mmmmm!" She will sing to and rock her baby. She just started saying good night to each individual bath toy at bedtime-- a lengthly process of "nigh nigh duckie, nigh nigh truck, nigh nigh bubbles, nigh nigh water..." Then we are off to read more books and further build her vocabulary and imagination. When she sleeps she obviously dreams as she wakes up saying, "uh oh" or "beep beep".

Growing up I had a brother who was only 13 months younger. (Oh my, momma! Pregnant with a four month old!) I usually had someone to join me in my make believe world. Though my sweet daughter will have oodles of young relatives and friends to visit, church mates to run around with, and play groups to attend (mom will definitely have her socializing), she won't have the sibling right there at home to cause trouble with like I did. She'll have her devoted dog. But her canine is getting older. Though she dutifully lets our curious monkey pile stuff on top of her and she playfully fights over the ball (to the child's eventual selfish frustration), I don't imagine she will always be too eager of a play mate.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to offer my daughter a brother or sister like what I grew up with. Two children close in age had been my hope all along, simply because it is what was familiar to me. But sometimes you have to let dreams go and settle for the amazing blessings that you have. I never knew if post cancer I would be able to have a child but I now have my health and I have a beautiful, smart, well behaved little princess.

She will have her silly mommy and daddy to play with. Daddy already plays Lego or climbs into her little tent or explores the outdoors with her. Soon I am sure she will ask him for tea parties and camp outs in the living room. I love how she brings the kids out in us. Not only is her imagination developing, but so is ours. The things she gets us to wear as "hats" (the other day she wanted me to wear a step stool on my head). The sound effects we end up exploring. (What is the difference between a fire truck and police car siren?) The voices we assign to characters in her numerous books.

I will try to feed her brain positive images. My imagination had been clouded with so many visuals I didn't understand. Violence on television. Scary characters and villains. Movies I shouldn't have watched. For 20 years I had to wrap my feet in a blanket in order to sleep because of fear that something would stab my foot. I want my precious tot to enjoy her childhood for as long as possible. I will not be able to shelter her from everything, but I will choose to instill positive, encouraging, loving images in her mind (though I do need to work on the mom is patient with dad image),

As her comprehension grows and her fabrication develops I look forward to enjoying her stories. I have my note book ready to record the cute things she says. Right now it is a melodious babble with the random word. As her communication expands I will embrace her creativity. We are going to go bear hunting and play with pretty fairies. We are going to make enchanting castles and explore magical kingdoms. Who knows what else we will do? Her personality will soon tell.

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