“Papa, I can’t fall asleep! What can I do?”
“Try counting sheep.”
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, oh, that was a pig. OK, again: one, two, three – hey, I’d rather count pigs.”
In general wee T would always rather do things her own way. Already being four entitles her to do so, whatever the matter, we have been told countless times (by her majesty herself).
Ever since hand puppets were introduced, she has been into roleplay, asking several times a day to pretend to be somebody from TV or real life. It occasionally leads to confusion for bystanders, when we’re out shopping, still playing “Ben and Holly”, me having to be Holly and herself representing Ben, generously ignoring age-, gender- and in some cases species-bound conduct, insisting to always stay in character.
The other day, going to the city centre by bus, she had me stunned with her explanation of what had occured. She pretended to be Charlie (from the cartoon “Charlie and Lola”) and I was Marvin, Charlie’s best friend (and older brother to Morton). We were sitting in the back row, just leaving another bus stop, when all of a sudden T/Charlie exclaimed: “Oh no!!” me: “What happened?!” T: “Morton has just left the bus!”
me: “Oh no, why?”
T: “He wanted to visit somebody, but actually he does not know anybody here!”
While slowly saying “what?”, more to myself than to ‘Charlie’, I tried to quickly unboggle my mind. We then sent (imaginary) Lola after (imaginary) Morton at the next stop and eventually got him back safely.
Playing with identities and situations in roleplay is great fun. It also is pretty demanding, as kids take it very seriously (rightly so) and thus so must adults, having to provide solutions, exciting or calming turns of events and constantly stretch one’s limited, grown-up mindset.