If only my children had imaginations

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Yesterday’s trip to school went like this:

Ella: “Cassie forgot her bike today, so she’s riding an elephant!”

Me: “Who is Cassie?”

Ella: “Nick’s twin sister.” (Nick is Ella’s imaginary older brother. He, apparently, has some mad skillz on the skateboard.)

Natalie: “My dog is coming in his wheelchair.”

Me: “What? Your dog has a wheelchair?”

Natalie: “Yes. He’s a chihuahua. His favorite bone was in the van one day, and when he was chasing after it he got hit by a car. His back leg was broken. So now he has a wheelchair.”

Ella: “What if someone brought 100 chihuahuas to school???”

Natalie: “I don’t think I’d like that. They’d be really yippy.”

Ella: “What if someone brought an elephant to school? WHAT IF SOMEONE BROUGHT 100 ELEPHANTS TO SCHOOL??”

Me: “I’m not sure 100 elephants would fit in the parking lot.”

Ella: “They could go on the playground, and the top of the hill, and on top of the school.”

Me: “Oh, ok.”

And that’s when I had to drop them off. It was much more fun than today. Last night we found out our neighbor’s dog had died. The girls had played with the dog once last fall, and we all said something like, “Maybe you can play with Buddy again sometime.” Captain America had the not so great idea to tell Natalie about it before she went to bed. She burst into tears. For an hour. So instead of going to bed at 8, she went to bed at 9. Still choking back sobs. And then she woke up crying again. So this morning was a lot of Ella saying something like, “I’m pretending that Buddy is right here on my lap.” And Natalie responding, “I need to think about other things!!! That’s not helping!!” And there was also a lot of “Now I know TWO dogs that have died. {insert sobs here}” Followed by me “Ok, but you need to get some socks on and pack up your backpack, IT IS TIME FOR SCHOOL.”

I’m not sure if she’s really sad about Buddy’s actual death, or if she’s sad she won’t get to play with him again now. At one point Captain America mentioned that there were other dogs and she said something like, “BUT WE DON’T KNOW MANY PEOPLE WITH DOGS HERE.” Which I don’t think is really true, but ok. In any case, I’m hoping we can get another imaginary dog and pick up the pieces of the shattered dreams. Because if she bursts into tears again, I’m going to be extremely tempted to go pick up Phoebe. And I don’t think I really want to do that. And I know for a fact Captain America doesn’t want that to happen.

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2 responses »

  1. Awww…I think confronting death is just scary for kids, plain and simple. Poor kiddos. An imaginary dog sounds like just the ticket. And the imaginary wheelchair gives it some definite interest.

  2. They are great! You must have been having a hard time driving and trying to either remember everything they said, or scribble it all down on a piece of paper. I’ve almost gotten into wrecks trying to transcribe backseat conversations!

    Have they experienced much death? Because I think there’s a big fascination with the whole thing, and lots of processing. And of course…girls are more emotional. I remember back when our 23 year old cat died. Jimmy and I sat Jude down to tell him about it, and we both broke down in sobs and Jude was left trying to comfort us! He told us not to be sad, because Imogene was in heaven. It was really very sweet.

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