Friday, February 22, 2008

Who Says Children Have More Imagination?

A common myth purveyed by the entertainment industry in this country is that children have more imagination than adults. How many times have you seen the imaginative child scolded by an un-imaginative parent who is annoyed by the child’s flights of fancy? This is a lie. I happen to be an adult, and I live with five children. At our house, the kids are always trying to rein me in.

This morning when it was time to pick up my five year old from Kindergarten I told my two year old that it was time to get in the stroller and go get his brother. Why bother with the stroller? thought my two year old, so while I put on my coat he opened the front door and charged down the sidewalk. I cut a rakish figure chasing after him with my trench coat and scarf flying and an empty stroller bouncing along the sidewalk behind me. Both of us were laughing by the time I caught up to him and hooked my fingers in the hood of his jacket to make the catch. Then I buckled him in the stroller and we walked very sedately the rest of the way to the school.

As I stood in the school yard and waited I realized that I had lost the belt of my trench coat. I figured it must have fallen off while I was running. When my five year old came out of his classroom I told him we were going on a hunt. We were going to look for my belt as we walked home.

“Mom, I think you left your belt at home,” he told me when we were half way down the street. He hadn’t seen it yet and I guess he thought that meant it wasn’t out here.

“Wait until we get around the corner,” I told him, “That’s where I think it will be.”

Sure enough, as we came around the corner, my belt lay stretched along the sidewalk, just a few yards from where I had stopped running.

“Your belt was all the way back here!” my five year old was surprised.

“It had to wait a long time for me to come back and get it,” I said as I scooped it up and wrapped the middle of it around my hand, “Do you think it felt sad?”

“Mom! It’s a belt! It doesn’t feel sad!”

Later that afternoon as I put folded laundry away in the drawers I discovered where all the stuffed animals hiding in a big pile in the corner of the boys’ room.

“It’s a den of wild animals!” I exclaimed.

“Where?” My five-year-old came in from playing out in the hall.

“Over there!” I pointed to the stuffed animals. “Aren’t you afraid to sleep in here at night with all those wild animals over there?”

“Mom!” my five-year-old was supremely exasperated, “They’re not wild animals! They’re stuffed animals and puppets!”

See what I mean?


Teric said...

Hehe that was really cute! Adults are often discouraged from having a playful imagination, and I think that's an absolute tragedy.

Hermana Maw said...

So true! My kids are always telling me things like, "Dogs can't use baseball bats, Mom."

I hope they grow into their imaingation soon. :)

Pirate Princess said...

lol - this sounds sooooo much like me & my daughter! I'm so glad I have managed to keep my imagination intact - I know some adults who allowed theirs to be squashed. :( Well, maybe squashed is too hash. How about "put into hibernation?" ;)