The Toddler is looking for jam. The Toddler has made tea and toast with her toy breakfast set. She now needs the jam. Probably for the toast, but who can be sure? She has regularly served people egg in their tea cups, and her favourite imaginary food offering is ‘carrot and cake’. (I would love to pretend The Toddler is very sophisticated and offers people imaginary carrot cake. I would, however, be lying. It is not carrot cake. It is carrot AND cake.) So, anyway, The Toddler needs jam. Probably for the toast, but possibly to spread on eggs or stir into tea.
Now, I must point out at this juncture that there is no jam. The Toddler’s breakfast set includes bread, croissants, eggs, spoons, knives, plates, cups, a kettle and a toaster, but no jam. The jam is entirely imaginary. This seems to be somewhat impeding the search. It is very difficult to find objects that are both hidden and non-existent.
The Toddler wanders around the room, providing jam-related commentary: ‘Where jam? Here? No. Here? No. Of course…The Toddler’s spoon!’ Briefly thought the jam had been located there? So did Silly Mummy but, no, it was the spoon. Of course! Unaware we had also been hunting for a spoon? Join the club. The spoon is reunited with its tea cup, but the imaginary jam remains AWOL. ‘More jam!’ More? Apparently there has already been jam. It must be around here somewhere then. ‘Where jam?’
Silly Mummy has a brainwave. Silly Mummy lifts up a cushion and holds out an imaginary jar: ‘Here it is! It was behind the cushion.’ The Toddler shakes her head. She is not fooled. Whatever imaginary substance is in that imaginary jar, it is not imaginary jam. Furthermore, the imaginary jar of the unidentified imaginary substance, which Silly Mummy made up on a whim just seconds ago, belongs behind that cushion! The Toddler takes the rejected imaginary jar and puts it back behind the cushion.
The jam is still missing. ‘Where jam? Think! Where’s it gone?’ The Toddler sees her tea cups and is briefly distracted: ‘Tea for two!’ Briefly. ‘Looky jam. Where?’ The Toddler looks in her box of books: ‘No!’ She looks in her box of cuddly toys: ‘No! Look, Mummy, Daddy! Got dina!’ She waves around her stuffed dinosaur, jam apparently forgotten. The dinosaur is harder to spread on toast, but more tangible than imaginary lost jam. Swings and roundabouts.
The Toddler is still rifling through the cuddly toys: ‘Look! Rhino! Look! Horse big neck!’
‘Oh, yes, giraffe. Tall giraffe. Bouncy giraffe. What sound makey giraffe?’
‘It…Well, it…It makes…Erm…Daddy? Anything to add?’
Daddy jumps right in with, ‘Er…’
Silly Mummy knows just what to say: ‘Weren’t you looking for jam, darling?’
‘No. What noisy giraffe make?’
Several minutes of parental googling later and we know the answer: they don’t (well, the babies occasionally moo).