Lately the favorite activity at our house for David and Ruth has been to make a house. They drag all their bedding down to the family room/playroom and create a world of their own from chairs and blankets and pillows. The house play doesn’t just end with their creation. They act out various roles in a family and various scenerios. They also play this game when they are outside, when they are in their rooms and when they are taking a bath together. Pretty much all the time. John joins in too sometimes but he usually brings an element of some other imaginative story to the game (“We’re in a house and we’re ninjas.”)
It used to be that someone would be the Mommy and someone the Daddy (usually if John was also playing he was the Daddy) and someone the Baby. This got confusing for me because Ruth would scream “Mama” and I would respond only to find out she really meant David. I’ve recently realized that their game has changed. The first step is that they kill off the parents. “Ok, we’re babies. We’re in our house and our mommy and daddy are dead.” Then they get down to business.
The other night they realized I was listening and looked a little sheepish when I asked them if their mommy and daddy were dead. Well, Ruth didn’t care but David who always worries about other people’s feelings was obviously concerned that I would be devastated at having been knocked off by two of my three kids. “Uh, no, “ he said “The Mommy and Daddy are just……at work. Yea, at work.” And John who overheard also tried to explain it, “You know, it’s just that this way no one has to be the Mommy or Daddy. It’s more fun this way.” (More honest than David but perhaps not quite as tactful.)
I don’t care at all that they kill us off. Anyone who knows classic children’s literature knows you have to get rid of the parents (either by death or just absenteeism) before any fun can begin (Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, James and the Giant Peach, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan). But I do think it’s endearing that they tried to spare my feelings.