Ellie Jo’s imagination has become incredibly complex in the last few months. It started with her imagining that she had a troop of monkeys. The monkeys would play in the yard or in her hair. She could carry them in her arms and give them over to other people. One time she even put her monkeys on a dog and became hysterical when the dog ran away with them. Just last week she carried the monkeys around in her doll ring sling and fed them “roast beef soup” that she made in her little kitchen.

After the monkeys had been around for a while she told us that she had a friend named Jack. Jack was a “tiny boy” who drove a “tiny car” and spent a lot of time getting stuck in the pasture at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Jack liked to sing Ring Around the Rosy with EJ, but the adults in the room had to be careful that they didn’t fall on Jack when “they all fall down.” On one such occasion Robin received a withering look and was told, “You are sitting on Jack.” Oops!

Since Rainier’s birth there has been a lot more imagination play revolving around having babies, changing babies, dressing babies, soothing babies and nursing babies. Ellie Jo wasn’t present for the moment Rainier was born, but Robin woke her up and brought her downstairs just a few minutes after so she can talk pretty confidently about having a baby in a birth pool and what a newborn exam looks like. She also, hysterically, will sometimes squeeze her chest to figure out “which side has more milk” before nursing her dolls. Guess momma modeled that one pretty well!

The latest leap in imaginary play has been to use her playsilks to turn herself and/or other people into different animals. In the picture she is pretending to be Sooki the saggy baggy elephant from a Little Golden Book. Sometimes she gives me yellow and orange playsilks so that I can be the parrot in the story. Or she’ll turn someone else into the tiger. It is fascinating to watch her recreate parts of the story.

Any recent imaginary exploits in your household?


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