Pretend

My friends in America are blogging turkey. Nice stories of guests, and even nicer stories of kicking back and doing a lot of nothing. I spent the weekend as usual: playing pretend, and trying to exercise my kid’s brain.

Eila has a friend at her after school programme who always wants to play Scooby Doo, and insists on playing Daphne while Eila plays Velma. My assurances that Velma is a more desirable role fall on deaf ears: “I don’t care about being smart, I want to be beautiful!” escaped the barrier of the kid’s teeth at one point this weekend, in response to what was no doubt an irritatingly didactic discourse from me. Anyhow, the upshot was that Eila played Daphne in almost all our weekend games. Where things got weird was when Daphne didn’t fulfill the requirements of the story she wanted to tell, and imaginative layers had to be added. “I’m Daphne pretending to be a dog.” “You’re Shaggy pretending to be the dog’s owner.”

There are always these levels in pretend games. Eila’s dolls have fairly well-established personalities and can pretend to be what they’re not; if they do the main fantasy frame (that the dolls are alive) is irrelevant. Mostly it’s not important to keep the levels straight, since only the last one is in operation. Sometimes it is important.

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