A lot of kids have imaginary friends. N, our two year old, for a while had an imaginary friend called “Kee-kee”. I hesitate to call Kee-kee an imaginary friend, however, because he was used primarily as an excuse. When N said something that got him in trouble, he’d say “No! I was talking to Kee-kee!”. If he had forgotten to pick up his toys, “No! Kee-kee was playing with them!”
Though cute, this clever strategy didn’t get him very far – not with me, at any rate.
Recently, he’s hit on a new imaginary construct. He remembers when he was a daddy and when he had two boys. We’ll be sitting at dinner, and he’ll say something like “when I was a daddy, I had to go to work. And my boys had to stay home. And, and, it was very sad.”
He has come up with all sorts of things that he used to do when he was a daddy.
The other day, however, he finally crossed the line. Just to set the stage, this was part of another food battle. He was refusing to eat his dinner again…
“When I was a daddy, I told my boys…”
“Your boys?” I asked.
“Yep. My boys. I told them they didn’t have to eat their dinner.”
“Yeah. I said, ‘It’s okay. you’re not hungry. It’s okay’.” And he nodded very sympathetically – as if he were empathising with his two un-hungry boys.
What do you say to that?