Tagged Imaginative play

Doctor Toddler Has Been Suspended…So Has Hairdresser Toddler

The Toddler’s main professions continue to be medicine and hairdressing. Thankfully, she has mostly (well, sometimes) stopped trying to combine the two. (Still, Jeremy Hunt is unlikely to be happy when he finds out the toddler doctors have the spare time to be moonlighting as hairdressers. Who on earth is going to be available to deal with Michael Gove’s minor injuries?!)

The Toddler is doing a spot of hairdressing on Silly Daddy’s Cousin. The Toddler does appear to have moved on from requiring her clients to do her hair, but may still be slightly missing who the focus of the hairdressing experience is supposed to be.

Cousin is trying to teach The Toddler some hairdressing conventions, telling her: ‘You say, “Are you going anywhere nice on holiday?”‘
The Toddler nods: ‘Yes, I am.’ The Toddler is very pleased to see her clients showing an interest in her holidays and weekends.

The Toddler has finished Cousin’s hair cut. Cousin is happy with the results: ‘Thank you – I love it!’
The Toddler, of course, politely expresses that she is pleased her client is satisfied with her work. No, she doesn’t. She announces: ‘I’m going on my holiday!’ She marches off.

In doctoring news, it is the living room and Doctor Toddler is needed. The Toddler has some concerns about Silly Mummy, who was minding her own business.
‘I’m over here looking at your belly. It’s not very well. I’m going to have to be doctor. Maybe I can fix it.’
Silly Mummy hadn’t even noticed this belly problem, but is relieved that a toddler doctor is on hand to try to fix it (even if she does sound a bit grudging about having to be a doctor).

The Toddler just needs to transform herself into Doctor Toddler first. She picks up her doctor’s coat. She puts the coat down again, and starts taking off her top: ‘Need to take this off first.’ Despite Silly Mummy’s protests that doctor’s coats are traditionally worn over clothes, The Toddler is now removing her trousers: ‘Just need to take these off.’ The Toddler is now naked. She puts on her doctor’s coat, and gets distracted by how pretty she looks as a doctor, forgetting all about Silly Mummy’s recently discovered ailment: ‘Can I spin around in it?’ However, The Toddler quickly notices a problem with her new ‘dress’, which seems to be hanging a bit loosely, almost as though there should be clothes under it: ‘Think I’m a bit small for this dress.’

Doctor Toddler moves on from her sartorial concerns to deal with the medical issue at hand: ‘Right then, I need to cut your hair.’ No, The Toddler: wrong job! The Toddler is not listening: ‘Have to be careful with scissors. Very sharp.’ Very sensible, The Toddler, but Silly Mummy’s belly does not want a haircut!

‘Let me do something with medicine.’ The Toddler appears to be back on track as a doctor. She picks up some tweezers: ‘What is this?’ Silly Mummy informs her they are tweezers.
‘What me do with them?’ Silly Mummy explains that they can be used for removing splinters. The Toddler has other ideas. Careening immediately back off track, she takes a section of her own hair, grips it with the tweezers, and yells: ‘And snap!’

At this point, Doctor Hairdresser Toddler completely loses the plot. Addressing Silly Daddy, who is not even in the house, she declares: ‘Daddy, I’m just doing Mummy’s doctors. I’m just zapping The Baby’s hair. Where did I put Jesus?’

Presumably, she means tweezers, but who can be sure? Silly Mummy hides her belly. The Baby hides her hair. The services of all doctors, hairdressers and toddlers, whether brandishing tweezers or Jesus, are suspended pending a thorough investigation into what on earth is going on.

My Random Musings

We’re All Mad Here

alice-in-wonderland-276452_1280The Toddler and The Baby are playing house. Theirs is a rather unconventional household. Silly Mummy suspects it is located down a rabbit hole. All ways here are The Toddler’s way (though The Baby is more likely than The Toddler to try to take someone’s head off, probably with a toy bus). The Toddler is usually rushing somewhere for no particular reason. The Baby is often hiding, revealing just a cheeky grin. Care given to baby dolls has probably been learnt from the Duchess: fling it around a bit, shout, and then throw it at someone else. There is usually a tea party. It may have been going on for some days. The chances of anyone receiving any actual tea are slim. There is at least one person wearing a silly hat at any given time. Everyone will be asked obscure, unsolvable riddles. And, if there ever were any jam tarts, they have definitely been stolen and eaten by The Toddler (while The Baby runs behind yelling ‘bit’ in a hopeful voice). Certainly everyone is mad here.

Morning in the Toddler-Baby house has started in a traditional manner. The Baby has offered The Toddler a cup of tea. Well, she hasn’t exactly offered a cup of tea, so much as sat by the stairgate minding her own business. Nonetheless, The Toddler has informed her: ‘I won’t have a cup of tea, thank you, The Baby. I think I’ll have a cup of coffee instead. And a biccy.’ Despite The Baby’s complete inactivity on the coffee making front, The Toddler surprisingly receives her coffee and biscuits from the confused Baby Servant, and thanks her accordingly.

Coffee consumed, The Toddler sets about her chores for the day. These mostly seem to involve moving around her ‘demidifier’ (dehumidifier). That would be a toy hammer from her tool belt to everyone else.

Meanwhile, according to The Toddler, The Baby is now doing her work. The Baby obediently wanders off to stand by the door, where her work is apparently located. Being an International Baby of Mystery, The exact nature of The Baby’s work remains unknown. Though it does seem to involve a lot of asking, ‘Where’s cat gone?’

During a raisin break for The Baby, The Toddler engages in some shoe fitting, which does not go down too well. Frankly, The Baby does not want to try on pretend glass slippers to see if they fit while she is trying to eat raisins. She is even less impressed when The Toddler starts trying to get pretend ‘glass wellies’ to fit her. The Baby is not sure what kind of a prince sends a toddler with a glass welly around the maidens of the kingdom, but she is not marrying him.

Having dealt with the humidity, and the glass slippers/wellies, The Toddler has some writing to do. She sets about her correspondence with a toy chisel. Perhaps The Toddler and The Baby are cavemen. That might explain The Baby’s job. She’s hunting a sabre toothed tiger for their tea – ‘where’s cat gone’ was actually a reasonable description.

Unfortunately, the harmony of the Toddler-Baby household is shattered when they both attempt to sit on the same seat, and fall on the floor. The Baby declares that she will no longer not make The Toddler coffee. The Toddler threatens to ‘demidify’ The Baby.* They retire to different corners to fling themselves on the floor. Off with their heads!

(*These were not their actual words, but were implied in the glaring, shoving and howling.)

Cake: Just Like That

The Toddler likes to do magic. Very, very mundane magic. She brandishes her imaginary wand at Silly Mummy: ‘Close your eyes!’ Silly Mummy closes her eyes. Nothing happens. There is silence. Silly Mummy wonders if The Toddler is still there. Silly Mummy peeks. The Toddler is still there. She is building anticipation for her amazing feat of magic. She waves her wand again: ‘Open your eyes!’ Bit of an anti-climax. Less a feat of magic, more a feat of bossiness. Still, Silly Mummy has apparently earned a reward for her participation: ‘You can have cake now. I’ll get you cake.’

Silly Mummy is looking forward to her cake. However, it seems The Toddler may have been a little hasty in her offer: ‘I haven’t made cake yet.’ At least she has a solution: ‘I’ll make it.’

The Toddler puts down her wand, and starts piling random items from her toy tea set and toy cookery set on to the sideboard. She knocks them over by accident: ‘I’ve knocked your cake over now.’ Oh dear. The Toddler appears to feel the cake has not been harmed, however. She picks everything up and continues her imaginary cake preparation.

The Baby wanders over and knocks the same items off the sideboard as The Toddler did moments before. The Toddler spies a perfect opportunity to pass the blame for the cake delays: ‘You can’t have your cake now because of The Baby.’

The Toddler relents and decides she will serve the cake anyway. She starts rooting through her things, and reappears victorious: ‘I’ve found one knife now. I’ve just got to chop. Be careful. Here you go, Mummy.’ The Toddler holds out a plastic plate full of imaginary cake to Silly Mummy. Silly Mummy thanks her, and reaches out to take the cake.

The Toddler snatches the plate away: ‘You can’t have it yet.’ She walks off with the plate, and knocks over more of her toy cooking equipment. She decides this is the final straw: ‘Never mind, I’m not making it now. The Baby is cleaning it away.’ Silly Mummy looks at The Baby. She is certainly doing something with the imaginary cake and toy cooking equipment. Throwing it would be Silly Mummy’s description, but if The Toddler says she’s cleaning up…

The Toddler provides a final firm confirmation that Silly Mummy will not be receiving cake: ‘No, you can’t have it.’ Well, Silly Mummy is not sure this was worth opening her eyes for. Not that Silly Mummy chose to open her eyes. It was magic, of course.

Invasion of the Pyjama Snatchers

The baby has taken off her pyjama bottoms and is waving them over her head. The Toddler runs over and snatches the pyjama bottoms. She tries to put them on. The Toddler is now in two pyjama bottoms. That’s not right. The Toddler takes off The Baby’s pyjama bottoms. So that she can take off her own pyjama bottoms, and put The Baby’s back on. The Toddler is now wearing just one pair of pyjama bottoms. The Baby’s. On one leg. (The Baby, meanwhile, is wandering the living room giving her bottom a good airing.)

The Toddler confirms the current situation: ‘Wearing The Baby’s trousers on now.’ She starts trying to walk towards Silly Mummy and The Baby. She is hampered by having both of her legs in one hole of some pyjama bottoms that are too small for her. She takes them off. And puts them on her arms.

The Toddler is now waving her own discarded pyjama bottoms at The Baby: ‘The Baby, need to put these ones on now.’ Indeed. It certainly wouldn’t do for anyone to be wearing their own pyjamas. Or, even better, actual clothes.

The Toddler, wearing The Baby’s pyjama bottoms on her arms, her own pyjama top, and nothing on her bottom, announces: ‘Need to go to work now.’ Ah, well, that explains it. The Toddler is getting dressed for work. Her work evidently has a strict dress code: no jeans, no trainers, The Baby’s pyjamas…

The Toddler is still chattering about her plans for the day: ‘Need to go to shops first. Not gone to work yet. Daddy gone to work.’ (Shirt, tie, socks and Silly Mummy’s pyjama bottoms on his head, in case you were wondering.)

The Toddler declares: ‘I’m going to go now.’ She marches to the door, The Baby’s pyjamas still on her arms. She is very busy, and can’t hang around any longer waiting for The Baby to get her arse into gear, put both her legs into one hole of someone else’s pyjamas, and get ready for work.

Not Little Red Riding Toddler

Little_Red_Riding_Hood_-_J._W._Smith Once upon a time, there was a little toddler, who did not live in a village by a forest. She never wore a red riding cloak (though she sometimes wore a bumble bee outfit), and no one called her Little Red Riding Toddler.

One day, Not Little Red Riding Toddler said, ‘I’m going to see my grandma.’ So she packed an imaginary picnic to take to Grandma’s house, and didn’t put on a red cloak. Silly Mummy warned her not to dawdle on her way: dangerous babies lurked in the living room.

So Not Little Red Riding Toddler set out to visit Grandma. On her journey, she came across some beautiful pull along turtles and a tea set. She promptly forgot Silly Mummy’s warning, and stopped to sniff the turtles and pick a few tea cups. She did not notice when a shadowy Silly Daddy approached and snuck onto the sofa.

Silly Daddy was not interested in the slightest to hear that Not Little Red Riding Toddler was going to see her grandma. He gobbled up something more likely to fall into the category of ‘leftovers’ than ‘Grandma’, before making minimal (no) effort to dress as Grandma.

Not Little Red Riding Toddler arrived in front of Silly Daddy. Silly Daddy continued to devote his best efforts to not looking like Grandma. Without needing to question Silly Daddy’s eyes, ears or teeth, Not Little Red Riding Toddler declared, ‘You’re not Grandma!’

Not Little Red Riding Toddler was nothing if not persistent. She was visiting Grandma. She had not visited Grandma. She announced again, ‘I’m going to see my grandma.’

Presently, Not Little Red Riding Toddler reappeared in front of Silly Daddy, who was still showing remarkably little interest in pretending to be Grandma. Not Little Red Riding Toddler was once again able to see right through Silly Daddy’s complete lack of disguise: ‘You’re not Grandma!’ Not Little Red Riding Toddler knew who Silly Daddy was really: ‘You’re the big bad wolf. Roar!’

So, in something of a role reversal, Not Little Red Riding Toddler roared at the big bad wolf, who disappointingly failed to either chase or attempt to eat anyone. Nonetheless, The Baby Woodcutter appeared at that moment, brandishing a toy remote control at the Silly Daddy Wolf, just in case. The Silly Daddy Wolf situation under control, Not Little Red Riding Goldfish Toddler announced, yet again, ‘I’m going to see my grandma!’

Later, Not Little Red Riding Toddler returned to Silly Mummy, where she declared that she was actually Peppa Pig (of course), and was just…off to see her grandma.

And they all lived repetitively ever after.

Shh!

Silly Mummy has invented a new game. What is this game, I hear you ask. Has Silly Mummy been creating treasure hunts? Innovative sensory experiences? Educational word games? Mystery object bags? Well, there is a bag involved. Regular readers will be not at all surprised to hear that the bag is imaginary.

The Toddler is being a pickle. A noisy pickle. Silly Mummy calls her over: ‘The Toddler, come and look at Mummy’s bag.’ The Toddler wanders over and peers conscientiously at the empty spot where Silly Mummy is pointing. (It is worth noting that, after several episodes of imaginary items escalating out of all control (for example, here and also here), Silly Mummy appears to have created an Emperor’s New Clothes situation. The Toddler will always pretend to be able to see Silly Mummy’s latest invisible invention, just in case it does actually exist and all the cool people can see it.)

Silly Mummy is miming rooting around in the invisible bag: ‘Look, The Toddler, what’s this Mummy has here? Mummy has something here for you. Let Mummy just find it…ah, yes, here it is! Look: it’s SHH!’ Silly Mummy pulls the ‘shh’ finger out of the bag.
The Toddler is thrilled; she laughs hysterically and shouts, ‘Do more! Do more bag!’

Silly Mummy runs through the whole routine again. The Toddler finds it just as amusing. Who could possibly have anticipated that Silly Mummy would bring out another ‘shh’? The Toddler yells, ‘Again! Do more bag, please!’

Silly Mummy varies it a little: ‘Let’s see what else we’ve got in Mummy’s special bag. What do you think we might have in here?’
The Toddler is ever hopeful: ‘Raisins!’
Silly Mummy is rummaging through thin air: ‘Ooh, yes, it does look like we have a box of raisins here. Let’s just pull this out. Yes, look: a box of raisins!’ Silly Mummy holds an imaginary box of raisins aloft.
The Toddler shouts, ‘Raisins!’ (The Emperor’s New Raisins, clearly.)
Silly Mummy says, ‘Let’s just check in the box, shall we? Just have a look and make sure there’s definitely raisins in here. I’ll just open it up and…oh, no, it’s a box of shh!’ The Toddler falls about. Even the loss of imaginary raisins is funny when there are boxes of ‘shh’ around.

The Toddler wants to continue the game. We tell The Toddler to come and have a look inside the completely non-existent bag herself. She gamely has a pretend forage, and triumphantly pulls out…’Keys!’ The Toddler has not quite understood. Never mind: Silly Mummy can work with this. Silly Mummy tells The Toddler to bring over her imaginary keys: ‘I think those are the keys to this special invisible box Mummy has just found. I’ll just take them and see if they fit. Oh, look: they do! I’ll just open it up and see what’s inside this mystery box. Just open the lid here, and…oh! It’s a whole box of SHHHH!’ Obviously, this is the funniest thing ever. Even more obviously, the original purpose of the game has been somewhat lost. The Toddler is certainly not being quiet.

There you have it: the game of ‘shh’. A pointless endeavour for all the family!

Want to know how you can play this exciting and innovative game at home? Just follow the simple instructions below to create your very own bag of ‘shh’.

Firstly, you will need to make the bag for the ‘shh’. Given the entirely imaginary nature of the bag, you can quite literally make it out of anything. An imaginary sandwich bag and imaginary string would do a perfectly adequate imaginary job, but why imaginary limit yourself? Silly Mummy made her fetching imaginary bag out of a swatch of material from Albus Dumbledore’s robes, stitched together with fairy dust, and tied with a hair plucked from the tail of a unicorn.

Next, you will need to start collecting your left over ‘shh’s. If you don’t use ‘shh’s at home, don’t worry. Maybe a friend will have some ‘shh’s they aren’t using. Alternatively, supermarkets often collect unused ‘shh’s for customers to take when needed. If all else fails, you can buy packs of ‘shh’s on Amazon for a very reasonable price.

When you have enough ‘shh’s, simply put them into your bag. Be careful not to overfill. Tie the bag shut, and you are ready for the fun to begin.

 
 
Important disclaimer (please read before attempting any activities described by Silly Mummy): We’re all mad here.*
(…But the best people usually are.**)
*Lewis Carroll
**Lewis again, slightly mangled

In Search of Picnic

In Search Of PicnicThe Toddler is living an imaginary life again. This time she’s picnicking.

The Toddler stands up purposefully. She announces, ‘Got nic nic! The Toddler go and get it!’ It’s news to Silly Mummy that The Toddler has a picnic, but off she goes to the kitchen, where she can be heard saying, ‘Daddy, where’s nic nic gone?’ Ah, it appears the picnic is missing, and The Toddler suspects foul play by Silly Daddy is to blame. Nothing to do with the non-existent nature of the picnic.

The Toddler is back in the living room, the picnic having failed to materialise (as is the want of entirely imaginary picnics). The Toddler, however, is not giving up just yet: ‘Mummy, The Toddler bringy nic nic in the fridge.’ Apparently, the picnic is now in the fridge. The Toddler heads back to the kitchen: ‘Daddy, nic nic in the fridge.’ Silly Daddy is no longer a suspect in the abduction of the picnic. Of course not: the picnic is safe and sound in the fridge. The Toddler is getting it.

The Toddler returns from the kitchen. Still sans picnic. In the circumstances (there is no picnic), this is not unexpected. Silly Mummy says, ‘Did you get it, darling?’
The Toddler is finally admitting picnic defeat: ‘No. Can’t get it. I’m not funny. The Toddler wants Peppa Pig.’

It is a little known point of social etiquette that, if you are ever in the embarrassing position of attending a picnic having forgotten the actual picnic, Peppa Pig is considered an acceptable substitute. As long as you admit that you are not funny.

Painting

PaintingThe Toddler is painting. Apparently. She appears in front of Silly Mummy.
‘Want to help The Toddler paint?’
Well, this is intriguing. There are no paints out today. Nor any crayons, pencils or pens. All art related items are safely in the cupboard. Not even the aquadoodle mat or etch-a-sketch are available (both having been rejected by The Toddler as acceptable toys for the day). Obviously, Silly Mummy does want to help The Toddler paint, if only to find out what is going on.

Silly Mummy dutifully follows The Toddler to a carefully selected patch of the living room wall. The Toddler is holding a coaster from the coffee table and two plastic knives from her toy breakfast set. The Toddler holds out a knife to Silly Mummy, before swirling the other knife around the coaster and brushing it across the wall.
‘Painting! Mummy paint!’
Silly Mummy dabs the plastic knife on to the coaster, and proceeds to make patterns on the wall. The Toddler approves.
‘Good painting.’

The Baby is staring. She is probably wondering what on earth The Toddler and Silly Mummy think they are doing. The Toddler, however, has another interpretation.
‘The Baby wants to help paint.’
The Baby is handed a plastic knife.
‘Come on, The Baby, mix all the colours! Come on, The Baby, mix all the colours!’
The Baby is not mixing all the colours. The Baby is chewing the plastic knife/paintbrush.
‘The Baby is naughty! The Baby is naughty again! Mummy want to help The Toddler’s painting?’
It appears The Baby’s career as a painter is over. She has been fired. Her plastic knife/paintbrush is unceremoniously removed from her grasp, and handed to Silly Mummy. Silly Mummy is reinstated as The Toddler’s decorating assistant.

The Toddler has finished painting the wall, and is sorting out her painting equipment ready for the next area in need of a splash of colour.
‘Want brush. Paints. Want paints. Mix all the colours. The Toddler is making all the colours.’
She moves on to painting the TiVo box with her plastic knife. There is a suspicious smell emanating from her vicinity. Silly Mummy says, ‘Does The Toddler need her nappy changing?’
‘No! Painting! Want to paint.’

Silly Mummy feels she really must insist on the nappy being changed. The Toddler begrudgingly lies down on the mat. The coaster/paint palette is now a phone. Of course. The Toddler holds it to her ear.
‘Phone. Hello. No. Not. Okay. Painting. Doing painting.’
Having notified them of her activities, The Toddler abruptly hangs up on the unspecified person on the other end of the coaster.

The Toddler’s nappy is changed. The coaster/phone is a paint palette again. The TiVo is still only partially painted: The Toddler needs to get back to work.
‘Doing painting. Mix all the colours.’
As The Toddler keeps mixing all the colours, Silly Mummy can only assume the entire living room is being painted a rather fetching shade of imaginary brown.

Whilst painting on the living room walls using plastic knives and imaginary paint from a coaster may be the first sign of toddler madness, the key point here, as far as Silly Mummy is concerned, is that imaginary paint (even when brown) is just so much easier to clean off. In fact, The Toddler will do it. Now, let’s see, to remove imaginary brown paint applied from a coaster with a plastic knife? Why yes, she will simply need imaginary water applied from a magnifying glass with a plastic egg. And help from a confused baby assistant.

Back Soon: The Toddler Has Left the Building

Back SoonThe Toddler has left the building. Actually, she hasn’t. The door is locked. But she has announced her intention to leave, said her goodbyes, packed a bag. Or, at least, picked up a toy kettle and a wooden triangle. Or put an envelope on her head as a hat. That happened.

Before The Toddler could speak, she would just amble off towards the door. When she got her first bag, she took up ambling towards the door with random items stuffed in her bag. Once she started speaking, she would cheerfully call, ‘Bye!’ She now says ‘see you later’ or ‘back soon’. Pretty much whenever she moves, in fact. Or anyone else moves. Fetching toys from half a metre away, Silly Mummy going to change The Baby’s nappy, and going to bed are all appropriate ‘back soon’/’see you later’ situations, as far as The Toddler is concerned.

If The Toddler feels one of her trips is particularly deserving of recognition, she likes to narrate it. She is setting out on an epic journey from her bedroom to halfway down the landing. Each step of this momentous trek must be charted. The Toddler heads out of the door. ‘Walking. Back soon…’ There is a pause. ‘Sorry, Bink! Geta Bink.’ The Toddler edges back into the room. She subtly grabs teddy Binker and sidles casually back out onto the landing, confident no one noticed her oversight. ‘Walking. Bye, Mummy. Back soon.’

The Toddler’s commitment to ensuring everyone is kept fully abreast of her travel plans does not stop at information about her departure and expected time of return. Oh no. The Toddler will also announce the return. It often occurs immediately after the departure: ‘Bye. Back again.’

As for the contents of The Toddler’s bag? Typical items packed for her trips include the coasters from the coffee table, a ball, a turtle, wooden shapes, a plastic cabbage. On one notable occasion, The Toddler marched to the door wearing only a nappy & carrying an entirely empty bag. The Toddler reappeared. She had forgotten something. She was not properly prepared for the trip. ‘Mummy, need shoes!’ Ah, shoes! Yes, that was what was missing.

The Toddler has become aware of late that unlocking the door is a process involved in people leaving the house. She therefore now typically asks Silly Mummy to give her the keys or unlock the door. ‘Time to go now. Bye bye, Mummy. Unlock door, please, Mummy.’ A blunt ‘no’ in response to this request was met with, ‘Oh, alright.’ But then Silly Mummy felt a bit bad. So Silly Mummy created a magic, invisible key (kept on the shelf with the imaginary jam) for such occasions.

The magic, invisible key was a great idea. Then it escalated. It could now be described as a little out of control. It is just before bedtime. The Toddler, in her pyjamas, fancies a stroll. She heads for the door. ‘Bye now. Going walk. Shoes on. Going now. Keys, please, Mummy. Want keys.’ Silly Mummy fetches and hands over the magic, invisible key (Silly Mummy is becoming an excellent mime artist).

The Toddler is still indoors (she has yet to notice the magic, invisible key is not so good with actually opening the door). It is sunny outside. However: ‘Raining. Oh dear me. Bit of rain. Bit of rain, Mummy. Need jacket. Jacket, please.’ Would you look at that: Silly Mummy happens to have a magic, invisible raincoat right here! Silly Mummy helps The Toddler into the magic, invisible coat, and zips it up (really).

The Toddler is now fully prepared for this trip. Right? Wrong. ‘Harness, please. Need harness.’ One minute later, and The Toddler is wearing a magic, invisible harness over her magic, invisible raincoat. She is holding the magic, invisible rein of her own magic, invisible harness, since no one else is going on the imaginary walk. (No, The Toddler did not consider the rein issue herself. Yes, Silly Mummy did get carried away with the mime act). The Toddler must be ready, surely?

‘Going. Need tea cup.’ Tea cup? A tea cup is needed for the walk? Apparently so. One magic, invisible tea cup coming up. The Toddler is definitely ready this time. She takes a step. ‘Need hat on. Get The Toddler’s hat, please, Mummy.’ Silly Mummy – who I think we can all agree is remarkably well stocked with completely imaginary items – supplies a magic, invisible hat, and The Toddler is off.

Nearly. ‘Doing walking. Need shoes on.’ Really? Silly Mummy is sure The Toddler said she had her shoes on at the start of this expedition. Apparently, one can never be wearing too many pairs of imaginary shoes. Inexplicably, Silly Mummy’s magic, invisible shoes are buckle-up. Must get some magic, invisible Velcro shoes: much quicker.

‘Bye, Mummy. Door, please. Going now, Mummy. Get bag, please.’ Well, in fairness, what else is she going to keep all her magic, invisible items in except a magic, invisible bag?

The Toddler finally makes it to the door. In keeping with the entirely imaginary nature of the trip and her attire, The Toddler is sticking with her imaginary weather: ‘Jacket on, bit cold. Raining.’ The Toddler decides this imaginary weather is not for her. She’s a fair weather imaginary walker. She’ll just pop off to bed instead. (Without so much as removing a magic, invisible shoe, Silly Mummy might add. The bed will be full of magic, invisible dirt.) ‘Night night, Mummy. Back soon!’ Yes, in 12 hours.

I’m Batman

I'm BatmanThe Toddler has a plastic toy shopping basket (‘bask shop’) on her head. ‘I’m Batman! Batman, Mummy!’

Clearly, this is hilarious. It is also a little surprising. The Toddler has never seen Batman. She may have heard of Batman. It is possible that, when The Toddler was first starting to talk a lot and tended to speak in a hoarse whisper, Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy may have devoted some time to trying to get her to say, ‘I’m Batman!’ This was entertaining – mostly to Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy – but was not overly successful, though she did try to say ‘Batman’ a couple of times. This had long since been forgotten. Except…there may have been one other Batman incident. On a trip to an interactive play centre, there was a Batman mask in the dressing up room. Daddy tried to put it on The Toddler. There may have been further mention of ‘I’m Batman!’ The Toddler was having none of it. Daddy wore the mask. But that was weeks ago.

Why The Toddler suddenly recalled these limited incidents of Batman on this day is a mystery. Funny what they remember. Maybe Gotham needed her. Why The Toddler felt that the shopping basket resembled Batman’s mask is even more of a mystery, though a testament to her resourcefulness. But, then, Batman is nothing if not resourceful.

So, The Toddler is Batman. Apparently, The Baby is also Batman. The basket goes on The Baby’s head: ‘The Baby is Batman! The Baby Batman!’ Well, Baby Batman is confused. What is going on here? Usually something on The Baby’s head indicates the playing of peekaboo. She wonders if Batman is the new peekaboo? Do we now pull off the head covering item and shout ‘Batman’? When in doubt giggle. The Baby giggles. She is not a natural Batman. Batman does not giggle.

The fact that The Baby is now Batman demonstrates just how inexperienced The Toddler is both at being Batman and at being a big sister. Baby siblings, of course, exist to be relegated to the role of Robin. No one told The Toddler. She is sharing Batman. We all get to be the shopping-basketed crusader: ‘Mummy Batman! Come on, Mummy! Bask shop on head! Batman!’

Following absolutely no prompting from Silly Mummy (no idea where she could possibly have learnt it), Toddler Batman declares, ‘To the Bat-abile…ooh cat! Sit there, cat!’ Batman seems awfully easily distracted today. Batmobile forgotten, Batman is now following the cat, discussing seating arrangements. That’s not going to save Gotham, now, is it? Unless the latest threat to Gotham comes in the form of Catwoman sitting on the wrong cushion.

Batman is returning to her alter-ego Toddler Wayne: she needs the bat mask/shopping basket to pick up her shopping. ‘Tidy oranges, Batman!’

Jam

JamThe 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!’
‘Giraffe, sweetheart.’
‘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).

Dolls Are People Too

Dolls Are People TooThe Toddler has one of those little plastic doll’s houses, with moveable furniture and a couple of little people and animals.

It appears that The Toddler has been reading up on her landlord and tenant law. Although she owns the property (toy), there are tenants (dolls) living there, and The Toddler knows that they have rights. For example, she must give notice to enter the property: toddler landlords cannot just be barging into doll’s houses whenever they feel like it. The Toddler is a good landlord.

Therefore, The Toddler can be found knocking on the door of her own doll’s house, requesting entry: ‘Come in? Yes? Okkkaay!’ The Toddler’s respect for her little plastic tenants does not end there. The Toddler consults them before playing with them: ‘Bath? Washy? Yes? Okkkaay!’

The Toddler has evidently taken her imaginative play to the next level. It’s a slippery slope: one minute you are pretending your toys are real people, offering them ‘tea cup’ and cake, and the next thing you know they have an assured shorthold tenancy and are enjoying the protection of the Human Rights Act.