I’ve been silently observing my girls when they play house, or dress up, or Barbies. And I’ve noticed a trend.
Children seem to imitate the parenting they’re familiar with when they play make-believe.
Actual incidents depicted during imaginary play lately:
Goo is sitting in the kitchen in the time-out chair and says, “I AM in the chair!” I naturally ask her why she’s in time out, and she replies with, “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to my other Mom.” Fair enough. The following once-sided conversation ensues:
Goo (to imaginary Mom): I AM sitting in the chair! I am! I AM listening! I did! I did do what you say! I did!
Well, at least she’s accurate. She does get time-outs almost daily. And she argues every. single. one.
Later, I observe Punkin and Goo playing Barbies. One Barbie is the Mom, and the other is the girl. Goo is playing the role of the Mom.
Mom Barbie: WHAT is that in your hair?
Girl Barbie: My hair is fine, Mom.
Mom Barbie: No it isn’t. You put peanut butter in it. I saw you.
Girl Barbie: It was just at the picnic! It’s just peanut butter!
Mom Barbie: Nope! Now we have to wash your hair. Let’s go. Now.
I may or may not get incredibly irritated when Punkin gets junk in her hair an hour after I washed it. And I may use the mean Mommy voice when saying “Now,” to indicate that by not immediately following my directions, there will be great unrest throughout the land.
This all seems a little biased. I may lose it
every day once in a while, but I think the good far outweighs the bad. Umm, how about holding your hair back from your face the other day while you were vomiting? How about snuggling you every night before bed? How about reading the same freaking book 4,782 times in a row? Why, pray-tell, are your Barbies not arguing with their Mom about what to wear while she’s packing your lunch and snack for school making sure you’re getting enough servings of all the basic food groups every day? Why, for the love of God and my sanity, is Mom Barbie not busy putting away exactly 18 loads of laundry because you change your clothes 27 times a day???
And while we’re at it, why are the children not rolling their eyes, slamming doors, eating the same bowl of cereal for 45 minutes, and spilling cranberry juice on their bright white Easter dresses?
Pretend play is totally one-sided.