It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It is Friday, after all

A wail from the kitchen. A very dramatic, full of pathos wail. A wail of utmost tragedy.

It’s Jazz, of course.

“Grace ate my cake, and it was for AZERT!!!”

I look at the toddler table. On it I see a drift of cotton balls and a sparkly plastic star.

“Where is the cake, Jazz? I don’t see a cake.” (Before you all hurt yourselves rolling your eyeballs at me, I know it’s a pretend cake. I have a plan.)

“It’s right here!” Jazz lovingly taps a piece of empty air about a centimetre above the table top.

“It is? I don’t see it!” I affect great puzzlement. I get down on my knees, tip my head at a dramatic angle and peer intently into the space. “Where is the caaaaake?”

Jazz giggles. “You’re silly, Mary. It’s a pretend cake!”

AHA!!! My plot is working!!! a) She’s slipped off her high dudgeon, and b) she’s admitted it’s imaginary. I let the puzzlement leave my face, and burst into a beaming smile of comprehension.

“Oh! It’s a pretend cake! Well, if it’s a pretend cake, it can be anything you want! So you can pretend it’s still there, for dessert, and Grace can pretend she’s eating it, and IT DOESN’T MATTER!” Because, while yes, it would be nice if they were playing a cooperative game, and I could guide Grace into playing along with Jazz’s game, this little dynamic happens far too often. Jazz, you see, is Queen of Making Rules, but not so good at following them. She’ll set up a game for other people to play, but go with the flow? follow someone else’s play thread?

She! Thinks! NOT!

So I’m playing with her world view, just a bit. Indirectly, in a way deliberately intended to bemuse. Because it’s Friday, and I feel like being a little radical. Mwah-ha.

Jazz’s face grows cloudy again. Grace can have a different idea about the game??? Clearly, I am not with the program.

Ignoring the threatened return of High Dudgeon, I proceed, cheerfully oblivious. “Grace can eat it, and you can still have it! In pretend you really can have your cake and eat it, too, Jazz!” (Yes, way over her head. I am entertaining myself here.) I grin at her. “Grace can pretend it’s green, and you can pretend it’s red, and you’ll BOTH BE RIGHT! Isn’t that cool? Grace can have one pretend, and you can have another pretend, and they’re both right! That’s the fun thing about pretend!”

Jazz is slowly coming around. She’s not convinced, but she’s not complaining any more. I proceed, like the kid on Mulberry Street, snowballing this thing for my own (and, increasingly, Jazz’s) amusement.

“Grace could pretend a chocolate cake, and you could pretend a strawberry cake! And you’d BOTH BE RIGHT!”

“Grace could pretend to have cake for dinner, and you can pretend to have cake for dessert and … ” I pause.

“We’d BOTH BE RIGHT!!!” Grace gets it, at any rate.

“Grace could pretend take her cake right away, and your pretend cake would still be there!”

Jazz is reluctant to give up her dudgeon, but I don’t really care. I’m not coaxing her, I’m playing with the idea.

“Grace could set that silly cake on fire and PEE on it, and it would still be a good pretend cake for YOU!”

Well, now. Fast forward ten minutes. Four toddlers, Grace, Jazz, Daniel and Poppy, thunder from one end of the house to the other, all joined in THE VERY SAME PRETEND!

It goes like this:

THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD!

“Fire! Fire! Fire!”

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!

“Pee! Pee! Pee!”

Shrieks of hyterical laughter pound their way into the kitchen.

THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD!

“Fire! Fire! Fire!”

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!

“Pee! Pee! Pee!”

Shrieks of hyterical laughter pound their way into the living room.

“Fire! Fire! FIRE!”

“PEE! PEE! PEE!”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
“Fire! Fire! FIRE!”

“PEE! PEE! PEE!”
SHRIEK! Gigglegigglegigglegigglegiggle!!!
“Fire! Fire! FIRE!”

“PEE! PEE! PEE!”

And me?

I laugh. Because, hell, I started it.
And they? Are too damned cute.

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February 1, 2013 - Posted by | Grace, Jazz, Mischief, power struggle, socializing | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. That’s pretty damn cute, Should provide lots of amusement for them this weekend, too.

    Their parents too, I’m sure.

    Comment by SnarkHat | February 1, 2013 | Reply

  2. Bahahahaha, love it! Too funny and most adorable. :P

    Yup! That was my reaction, exactly.

    Comment by Sheri | February 2, 2013 | Reply

  3. Lol best game ever

    Nothing like a little potty humour!

    Comment by IfByYes | February 2, 2013 | Reply

  4. Ha! That is hilarious! You did see that coming, though, right?

    Oh, I knew, as soon as I said “pee on it”, they’d have to run with it somehow. Being toddlers, OF COURSE they ‘ran with it’ literally! :-D

    Comment by rosie_kate | February 3, 2013 | Reply


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