Land of Make-Believe

Charlie has recently begun to pretend. It started with sticks (and anything else big enough) becoming horses to ride. Then the toilet paper rolls became drums. And just last week he’s begun scripting out how we should pretend. (I wouldn’t go so far as to call these stories, or even scenarios. Not yet.)

We were on a walk home from a friend’s house when he saw a lion in a carving over the elementary school door.

“Lion, Mama. Lion.”

“I see that lion.”

“ROAR!”

“Is Charlie being a lion?”

“Yeah. Mama.”

“You want Mama to be a lion?”

“Yeah.”

“Roar!” I said, though not as loudly as Charlie.

“Daddy.”

“You want Daddy to be a lion?”

“Yeah.”

“Daddy’s not here. He’s at work. How about I pretend to be Daddy, pretending to be a lion?”

“Yeah!”

“ROAR!” This time it was long and deep.

The next day we had the same conversation, except we were bells. Bong. Bong.

I have to admit, I was excited that he is beginning to make believe. Those are fun games for me. (Much more interesting than building blocks, though that has its Zen-like merits, too.) Plus, NPR’s recent articles about the benefits of unstructured and pretend play have me looking at his conversations and imagination in a whole new way.

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