Evelyn is continuing to bring her imaginary, fairy-like friend, Bella to day care.
I want to take this opportunity to add that imaginary friends have been discriminated against for years. When Evelyn’s sister started with them (7 years ago), most of the expert opinion literature was divided about their worthiness to be encouraged. Encouraging them once they appear of their own accord, I might add. I was extremely careful not to be involved in their creation. This was handled well by only asking questions.
We (My daughter, Ellen, and I) had a blast with older sister Katherine’s friends. It was a delightful experience from which I vowed never to deem imaginary friends unworthy again.
(In fact, as an advocate, I’m waiting for just the right moment to suggest that imaginary friends might want to consider unionizing.)
The biggest benefit became clear when I was able to discuss manners and safety by including the imaginary friend. Children under 5 or 6 simply do not know what truth is, and so, when Katherine began blaming her friend, Zabby, for some of the rule infractions, I took advantage of that chance to address my displeasure. I sternly told Zabby what would happen if she OR Katherine did those things again. After all, taking responsibility for one’s actions is a very difficult, mature concept. Many of our adult public servants haven’t even learned that lesson… a small child is simply unarmed. Later on, taking responsibility was also discussed with the imaginary friend. In fact, we approached many topics from the shared responsibility Katherine and I developed in raising Zabby to be a good citizen.
Bella has already been helpful. Evelyn and I have been “showing her the ropes” for day care. We’ve told her about the danger of opening doors without permission and to watch for babies’ fingers when we close them too. Evelyn and I thought of one specific safety issue which only applies to Bella. When she flutters around on her fairy wings, we warned her not to go near Pepe’ who might mistake her for a pesky fly and swat her!
I still find myself carrying Bella in my own cupped hand longer than I need to. Ha! And you thought Bella was not real. I certainly believe.
Yesterday, Evelyn was dismayed that Bella wouldn’t take a cracker. When I asked about the size of Bella and the size of the cracker, Evelyn drew her own conclusion about the cracker being too heavy. And late yesterday afternoon, Evelyn took a “tubby” in my sink at the same time as Bella was safely in her own small Tupperware tubby.
Evelyn even treated me to a lesson in “How to kiss a fairy.” before her Mom went to work. (Incidentally, Ellen was in tears suppressing laughter during my instruction.). Every time I puckered and gently kissed the palm of my hand, it was incorrect. Then Evelyn adjusted her lips (looked like she was chewing gum) then gently brushed her lips across her own palm. I just didn’t measure up in fairy kissing all day.
I’m going to practice today…wish me luck.