I mentioned last post that next time I would tell you about some house guests that we had, well actually that Grace had. I really need to thank my daughter’s teacher for this because it was her that introduced my daughter to her new friends – the Chipmunks.
The trio just appeared one day, with no warning – one day Grace just started talking to Simon and asking who the female chipmunks were (The Chipettes). I figured one of Grace’s friends were into the Chipmunks and was playing them on the playground, I had no idea that they watched the movie in the class during indoor recess. I have no issue with my daughter watching the movie or with the trio singers, I watched the cartoon growing up so it was kinda nostalgic for me.
It got to the point where the Chipmunks and Chipettes were always around, in fact Grace became Jeanette (the one with glasses), I was Brittany and Leah was Eleanor. My husband was Dave. Grace, er I mean Jeanette, was always talking with Simon – I mean always, on the way to school, probably during school, when she played outside after school. They brothers would have dinner with us. And they would sleep with Jeanette at night, unless of course they were keeping her up and then I would have to tell them to either keep it down or leave (they would usually keep it down then.) I played along, how could I not? I downloaded Chipmunk songs, I found the same cartoons that I watched and showed them to Grace/Jeanette. I embraced this stage. Maybe because I was a fan or maybe because I finally got the whole imaginary phase.
Grace has sort of played this before- become someone else for a while. There was the time she only wanted to play Mickey and Minnie, then there came the time when she asked to be called Cinderella, and then Rapunzel (which included a long scarf for her hair), then Miss Piggy (which included a lot of Moi’s) and then Merida (from the movie Brave which also came with a bow and arrow). At first I would be annoyed, I didn’t want to talk like Mickey all the time or play the evil Stepmother (who really does?). But then I guess as Grace got older I started to miss the baby Grace and realized that one day she won’t want to play with me, it might not be a game of her pretending to be someone she isn’t, and I started to encourage her pretend life – I would be the evil stepmother, I would call her whatever she wanted me to and I would sing the songs and act out the movie. The Chipmunks of course were different, there was no movie to act out, Grace came up with her own stories. I would sit back and watch her play with her new friends – if you haven’t seen a five year play pretend alone, you must it’s really interesting to see what they come up with and how they see the world. Yes, I’m not a saint and there were times when I asked to speak to just Grace. I told her that the Chipmunks weren’t allowed to go someplace and there was one weekend when Grace wasn’t listening that I told her the Chipmunks left (she informed me that they came back to visit her though).
Sadly, the Chipmunks have left us, for how long I’m not sure, Merida has returned with her bow fighting off bears as I try to speak in a Scottish accent. I love that my daughter gives us all parts (my husband is the bear king and Leah plays all three of Merida’s brothers unbeknownst to her). I know one day this won’t happen anymore and I will miss it but until then I will be whoever my daughter wants me to be in her imaginary world. Who will she be next, I’m not sure but I know it will be a lot of fun – most of the time.