Thursday, February 5, 2009

Imaginary friends

Limefreckle Jr. has a lot of imaginary friends. Partly, I believe this may come from being an only child, and trying to create brothers and sisters for himself --- he has an older brother, and a younger sister, and they come with us frequently places --- I also think he uses them as a way to help alleviate anxiety about things, and navigate this social world that can be so complicated for him. I sometimes hear them all fighting, while he tries to break things up ---. He has a lot of imaginary animal friends too, he has a dog named Jack Black, one named Rex, one named Dr. Doolittle, and a Chihuahua named, simply Chihuahua.

I think some teachers in the past have had their concerns about his imaginary world, and I think if he truly lived in this world exclusively, I might worry too --- but I am not concerned with this behaviour -- I love the opportunity these imaginary friends give me to teach him......for example, last night, for some reason, he was not interested in showering, no way, no how. He wants to be dirty, he's happy being dirty, he's afraid his beautiful skin will get wet (don't ask me what the issue is with getting wet....he has no problem jumping into a pool at any opportunity, but doesn't want to get wet in the shower!) I was trying everything to coerce him under the stream of water, I turned it on, called out to his "older brother" and suggested he get in......Limefreckle Jr. looked at me like I was crazy and said "he's imaginary Mom, imaginary friends don't take showers"......

Point taken.

I did finally coax him in by the way, by concocting a special "scrub" made of baby oil and epsom salts -- I told him it's the same lotion that animals use to keep their coats shiny and clean --- it intrigued him, and as I rubbed it on his back he sighed and instantly relaxed ---- and the problem with the shower was averted.

I remember when I was in grade 2 (the same age as Limefreckle Jr. is now) I had an imaginary sister. I remember distinctly walking to school with her.....whatever I was wearing, she had on the opposite -- ie. if I was wearing pink cords and a turquoise t-shirt, she was wearing turquoise cords and a pink t- shirt, exactly the same (hello people, it was the 70's!!) I don't remember what her name was, but I do remember her providing me with some level of comfort, some level of familiarity, which I'm sure is the same reason Limefreckle Jr. has imaginary friends - how can that be wrong! So I embrace this imaginary world, I join it, I learn from it.......and I am CONSTANTLY entertained --- and as long as he can still embrace our regular world along with his imaginary one ---- then by all means, invite these friends over for cupcakes!


Chris said...

The mouse was caught without the vacuum , my husband caught him , his tail may be a bit bruised but he was released alive and well .