After I switched off his light this evening, Tuck said Mom, I have to tell you something. Once upon a time there was a mama. And it was you! And we went strawberry picking. And you made a strawberry cake! And then the ants took a bite and then they ate it all and then we BOOMed them away. The end.  Night, Mom!

We are in the middle of hardcore make-believe. There’s a lizard habitat in my bedroom. An upside down laundry basket, underneath which lives a teeny green lizard named Avocado, along with an empty almond jar in case he gets hungry and a sock for a beez.
I can draw the city.  See the taxi and the train under the ground?

I love how Tuck's imagination has helped me get back in touch with my own. When he brings me a stick and says it is a fish or a frog or an alligator, I can see exactly what he means.  I appreciate discussing shapes in the clouds and pretending to launch rockets and shielding myself from imaginary swords.  I appreciate this fantasy phase.  I love that he can become whomever he chooses, that he spends so much time creating complex dramas.  I love that he loves to dream, that he spreads wonder and whimsy through our world.  But before this?  I never imagined that all this play could feel like such hard work.
We have to deliver dinner, brown-bagging bean burritos and boxing up pepperoni pizza, knocking on the dining room door.  We have to let Tuck answer, presenting a palm full of coins from the kitchen junk drawer, exclaiming Fanks! I'll enjoy! before he'll sit down at the table to eat.
We have to run, RUN, around the house and then we have to run out of energy, which requires elaborate "battery changes."  For example, the green battery goes in your elbow: Hold your right arm out, let me unzip your skin. I'll throw the dead battery in the trash, did you hear it crack? I'll put the new battery in, it is green, that means go again! 
We have to find "keys" to unlock "gates" and remember passwords to travel over "bridges" just to get from one room to the next.
 I'm a friendly bear, not a ferocious bear, just a friendly one.  Hear me roar?!

I do realize that someday we may look back on this hardcore make believe stage and wish for its return, realize the energy it requires is nothing compared to whatever's ahead.  But right now?  Right now we're trying to teach Tuck how to play "Let's pretend to take a nap."  I'll close my eyes and you close your eyes and we'll be very quiet and lie very still...


The Wendels said...

I'll think of you as I sit on my preschool shape (a picture book carefully thrown from M's tiny grasp to its assigned spot on the floor to join the 20 others) trying not to panic as my to-do runs on auto-repeat through my pretend preschool mind.

rht said...

How Wonder-full!

Tiffany said...

You're gonna hate me for saying this but...

You'll miss it like crazy!

And...you'll be exhausted from hoemwork and sports and growing up stuff instead of make believe.

But it's so fun to watch them grow, right?

Reading your stories conjures up such warm memories for me and always brings a smile to my face thinking of the ones you're making.

Aunt Linda said...

Good luck with the "Let's pretend to take a nap" trick. Tried that old trick MANY times!