The Great Pretender

I am not sure when it started, but Eddie likes to pretend and it might just be the cutest thing I have ever seen.

I think it started with his cars.

making his cars “do stuff” on my pregnant belly.

Instead of just putting them on the track or lining them up into “parking lots,” he was narrating what they were doing and having them talk to each other.

Where are you going?
I’m going to my new house.
Let’s go over here!

Then I noticed that he was making his food talk to each other. He first did it with his dinosaur chicken nuggets.

They would talk to each other and then he would bite their heads off.

It’s cuter and less violent than it sounds.

I distinctly remember one evening when we were having spaghetti when he set out four noodles nice and straight next to each other.  He announced they were mommy, daddy, baby, and grandma.  Then he had them talk to each other.

wait for me! wait for me, mommy!
hurry up, baby and grandma!
oh no I broke because I am slow!

Cort and I just sat and stared.  And then giggled.

We asked him questions about his noodle family and he had all the answers.

It became a regular show each meal that he would see something other than “food” in front of him.  Each item on his plate could be something else.

Tonight, for example, his watermelon chunks were racing cars.

look, mommy! it’s an apple smile!

This summer we saw the pretend bust out from the dinner table and cars and into other areas of his little life.

Recently he asked me to “play stuffed animals.”  I said ok, not knowing really what this would entail. He explained to me that he would be the big Pooh Bear and I would be the tiny Pooh Bear and we would play.

Um. Ok. So I followed his lead.

Eddie: Hi. What you do today?
Me: I am going to Target.
Eddie.  You come to my new house?
Me: Um. Ok. Where is your new house?
Eddie: It’s ovah hee-ah. On mine own bed.
Me: Um. Ok. (puts Tiny Pooh on bed)
(and this is when Eddie just sort of takes over because I don’t do it right.)

I am SO not good at playing pretend.

But Eddie is.

Pretending is now just how he plays.

Playing with cars and trucks?  There is an entire dialogue about whether or not other cars and trucks need the help of the police car.

Playing trains?  I can hear him talking his way through whatever adventure his trains are on.

Playing with his kitchen?  He’s got an entire reason you need to eat an eggplant, box of granola, and a bunch of celery as your lunch.

In the tub?  Oh I don’t even KNOW what half of his boats and water animals are doing in there.  Today I heard and entire conversation about a school bus.  He does not have a school bus as a tub toy.

this submarine? had a back story. and of course he told it to me.

While we were at the cottage, Eddie’s level of pretend flew to a whole new level.

I had to feed Charlie, so Eddie stayed by the campfire with my parents and siblings and his cousin.  There was much laughter and hoopla going on and later I found out, it was from Eddie’s campfire story-telling abilities.

He told a story that went like this:

This one time I saw a brave dragon in the woods, and it turned into a juice box. And it didn’t sound good.

He made that up totally by himself.

Now, I realize it’s not really a good start for his first novel.  But it’s an excellent first draft, right?  I mean, everyone has to start somewhere.

I am pretty sure this story took about 10 minutes to tell because after every other word he tends to say, “and um, um, um, um” which is totally cute because you just know his little brain is working so fast his mouth can’t keep up.

this guy wants to tell you a story.

Watching him not just explore his world, but make up his own fills my heart with joy.  It also amazes me.

He picks up on everything and makes it part of his knowledge base and then synthesizes new scenarios and situations.

It’s astounding to watch someone learn.

And what a privilege to get to be his audience.