May 9, 2008

Birth of Imagination

As someone who lives off the fruits of imagination, I find great interest in my daughter’s latest developmental leap. Boo has begun engaging in imaginative play, and it’s amazing to watch.
A few weeks ago she’d roll her big blue ball all over the house, build block towers, and basically see how big of a mess she could make and little else. Then I noticed her play patterns begin to change. It started slowly. I’d notice her making her stuffed animals talk or dance. Instead of just being funny, she’d put a bowl on her head and call it a hat. Canning lid rings became fine bracelets, and she’d gallop along on her hobby horse up and down the hall.

Dress up and role play are her latest games. I can’t count the times I’ve found her sitting in a huge pile consisting of the entire contents of her dresser, trying to get dressed up in her favorite things. Sometimes she sits at her table with a book, jabbering and fussing away on her toy phone as she turns the book’s pages and points at key pictures. She’d spend hours I think sometimes “helping” Hubby grade papers by scribbling on printer paper with her oversized crayons or just sitting in the rocking chair pretending to read book after book.
The last week or so, I’ve found her “playing Mommy” more and more. The door to her bedroom is almost perpetually closed because she tucks her baby dolls into their tiny crib the same way I tuck her in each night every time I open the door with a kiss to their foreheads and a, “Night, night, time sleep,” as she closes the door behind herself. Other times she’ll walk around the house rubbing her poked out tummy, talking about the baby. Then she’ll climb into my lap and try to share her milk or juice with Sneak through my belly button.

Maybe this is all simply a product of the developmental leaps indicative of the months surrounding the second birthday. She’s definitely become more of a little girl and less of a baby these last weeks, trying her best to help out with household chores, asserting her growing independence, and increasing her vocabulary by a dozen or so words a day sometimes. Boo’s observations of the world are growing more complex, and I know she’s thinking of questions she can’t express just yet. Therefore I can’t help but think the emergence of imaginative play during this time of intense mental growth has more to do with trying to find answers to these unasked questions than anything else.

Sure, Boo’s imitation of me these days may be a byproduct of the amount of time she spends with me verses the time she spends with others, but how much of that imitation revolves around babies and care giving makes it clear she may be beginning to realize Hubby and I aren’t as crazy as she originally thought when we first told her about the tiny baby growing in my tummy.

Imagination, like dreams, has been referred to as the mind’s instinctive way of working out solutions to life’s mysteries. No matter how we prove ourselves, the quest for answers always begins in the imagination. Art and literature aren’t the only products of it; inventions, philosophies, new culinary creations, and even scientific discoveries are its children as well among others.

What a gift we so often take for granted!

* Picture is Boo and her Pops (my Dad) taken during his visit two weeks ago. Notice her lovely canning ring bracelet.


  1. Thanks for commenting over at my MOMformation blog.

    I love this piece. You describe such a magical time of life. The 2s were wonderful, not terrible, times. The 3s were hellish, but the 2s were very sweet.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. Moldofsky.

    Truth be told, I've no idea what to expect this next year beyond sleep deprivation and tons of development from both girls. Thus far Boo's such a well behaved child, tantruming mostly just when she's ill or disappointed, since we're still working on how to deal with the particular emotion. It should be interesting to see how she copes with the arrival of little sister.