Salt, check — sea shells (2), check — fancy potion bottle, check — underwater video camera to film the action, check
Posts Tagged ‘imaginative play’
Blitzen asked me suspiciously when we were reading in before bed and my feet brushed against hers under the covers.
“Those are Frank’s feet,” I said. I now have the nickname Frank.
Blitzen and her school friends have a restaurant. They work on it every day during the afternoon school program. They have designed a menu, they created the little thing that your check comes and some fake credit cards to put in there. She has a shoe box full of her restaurant stuff that she lugs back and forth to school so she can do some of the ‘work’ at home. One of the girls has named herself the ‘manager’. “She thinks she is charge but she doesn’t do any of the work!” Blitzen informed me indignantly. I didn’t quite have the heart to break it to her – that is just kinda how life is sometimes.
Blitzen has started some sessions with her mother and oldest sister. They are going surprisingly well – we should have started these 2 years ago. Blitzen seems quite calm and open to engaging in these dialogues — she has a lot to say to her family. They have a lot to say back which is what I was nervous about and frankly what is keeping me up nights but Blitzen is doing just fine.
At dinner last night, Blitzen was telling us about a new game she made up with 2 of her more imaginative friends. She was the mom, a mermaid mom, of course, and her kids were werewolves.
Andrew interrupts, “Um, wait, you are a mermaid but your kids are werewolves?”
Blitzen looks at Andrew like this is obvious, “Yeah, because their dad was a werewolf.”
Andrew continues, “Who played the dad the werewolf?”
Blitzen again looks at Andrew like he is a little bit dense, “Nobody. Who knows where the dad werewolf is, and who cares?!? Anyway... so my werewolf daughters have to save me before I die,” she explains.
Then I interject,” You have so much imagination, Blitzen. I wonder if I had that much imagination in 4th grade.” I cast around in my brain – what did you play at recess in 4th grade? And then it hits me, I hung out with my good friend Jennie O and we played, you are not going to believe this, Seawees. Anybody else remember seawees? Jennie O and I smuggled them to school in our pockets (nobody had backpacks then) — they were petite mermaids with fabulously colored hair and we made up these really elaborate seawee scenarios under the lone tree (scrub bush really) in our hot, hot, dry, dry Arizona playground.
So clearly the whole mermaid thing got transferred to Blitzen by osmosis.
Was calm, a first. The child rose with no grumpiness, cheerfully accepted assistance with her hair and was happy with the finished product. I allowed her to wear those little church/kitten/kiddy heals she has and she brought both flipflops and sneakers as back up. Progress presents itself in the most unusual ways and on the most surprising days.
We went to the playground the other day. Blitzen was doing her thing, running around, enjoying various items and groups of kids. She happened upon a group playing on this modern version of the merry go round (I guess that is what it is) and announced, “Ok, I’m playing now.” to the group at large. One kind of punky kid said, “No, no, you’re not.” Blitzen just smiled and said, “Oh yes, I am.” And jumped right on. Before you knew it, she had the entire group trying to walk in circle along the edge without falling off. Damn, that kid is all kinds of brave.
When I got home last night, Blitzen took me on a tour of her latest creation. She spent the afternoon with her behaviorist, her social worker and our babysitter creating a fort. She used 2 golf umbrellas, a rolling clothes rack, a bar stool, one folding chair, every sheet that wasn’t on a bed and about a roll of duct tape. The fort is almost as tall as me and quite spacious. She enjoyed her evening screen time in there – she designed the unit in such a way that the television could be viewed from inside.
Ok, so Blitzen and H encountered an earnest young philanthropist selling cookies to raise money for Alzeheimers. They learned a little about the disease, ate a cookie and donated a $1.50 to a good cause. Shortly afterward, Andrew took them to the toy store and said they could buy one thing to play with that everyone would enjoy. So, of course they bought ‘spa kit’ with nail polish, little hand dryer thing and a tub to soak your feet. They were over the moon — Andrew just shook his head, sighed and said, ‘You would think I’d learn.’ Last time he took them shopping, they picked out these little kiddie makeup kits. (Someday I’ll write about how upsetting the sexualization of young girls is and how I vowed no makeup, no barbies, etc, but it is all so much harder to enforce and instill these values when you are not starting from scratch – but that is another post).
Anyway, having been inspired by the cookie kid, they talked Andrew into this purchase by making a grand plan — they would set up a roadside mani/pedi stand, charge people $5 for hands, another $5 for toes but a massage would be free with either purchase. And they would donate their earnings to cancer research.
I must say it was really adorable. They set up 2 lawn chairs on the front walk, filled their zebra-striped blow-up tub with warm water and then created a sign to entice customers / donors. They sounded a little bit like pint-sized carnival barkers, shouting to random beachgoers, promising a great spa experience as well as the opportunity to support a very important cause.
They mostly serviced the family but they did entice one donation from the general public. The lovely lady said she would come back later for a mani — good choice as sparkly polish with red stripes is not for everyone.