My two oldest daughters (6-year-old Breeze and 4-year-old Daisy) love to do what they call “pretending.”
At any point during the day, the girls can be found surrounded by a pile of stuffed animals, talking in strange voices about wild adventures.
Daisy has a group of 15 or so stuffed animals, mostly dogs, that these adventures are usually based around. The group, which I call “The Gang,” include dogs with names such as Trina, Hartley, Coconut, Clippard and Frenchie. There are also two dogs (Cowboy Dog and Christmas Dog) whose names come from their attire. Daisy picks out all the names, while Breeze comes up with the ideas for their adventures.
Most of the time their exploits involve tea parties or going to the store — something along those lines. One time I overheard one of the members of the Gang, with a voice very similar to Daisy’s, drop an A-bomb. Knowing the girls didn’t have a stuffed donkey, I peeked my head inside the door of their room and asked the girls who said the bad word. Daisy responded quickly, “It was Trina.”
I told her to tell Trina she needed to watch her language or she would get into trouble. Daisy looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I have told her not to say that.”
While we were shopping at a craft store the other day, Breeze and Daisy started to pretend they were shopping for flowers for their wedding days — a day that I hope is quite some time off. Breeze would say, “I love these flowers for my wedding,” and Daisy would follow with, “Oh, these flowers will be for my wedding.”
The two were getting along splendidly until Daisy spotted a bouquet of fake, midnight blue flowers and claimed them for her sacred day. Breeze immediately noticed the flowers and said, “No, those will be mine.”
Daisy screamed in the middle of the store, “THOSE FLOWERS ARE FOR MY WEDDING!”
Other shoppers immediately turned to look at my 4-year-old bridezilla. Luckily, we were near the exit, and I grabbed Daisy by the hand and said, “Let’s go. We’ll worry about this argument a few years from now.”
During the Christmas season, pretending around our house many times involves characters from the many Nativity scenes we have. The girls use the characters and act out the birth of Jesus. It’s interesting to listen to the donkey and the sheep talk about Jesus being born. Thankfully, none of the Nativity characters have cursed yet, but I bet one of the shepherds will before all is said and done — we all know how crass shepherds can be.
While walking down our hallway last week, I overheard an argument beginning to stir between the two girls related to some pretending that was taking place.
“I’m Mary,” Breeze exclaimed.
“I want to be Mary,” Daisy responded.
I listened to the two of them go back and forth a few times before I rounded their doorway to find Breeze sitting on the bed wrapped in a Scooby-Doo bed sheet with a Blue’s Clues bed sheet over her head while holding a baby doll. Daisy, who didn’t have on a stitch of clothing, was standing next to the bed. I immediately said, “Breeze is Mary, because she’s wearing the outfit.”
Since Daisy wasn’t wearing any clothes, I told her to be an angel — I’m not sure why, but I figured the only person who may not have had clothes on that first Christmas would have been an angel.
My wife, Andrea, heard the conversation and told me they both could be Mary, but I just thought that would be confusing. In the end, I told them to take turns being Mary and that worked out pretty well.
In Luke’s version of the Gospel, the Angel Gabriel said Mary was “beautiful with God’s beauty, beautiful inside and out.”
That’s also a perfect way for me to describe Breeze and Daisy.
James Phillips is managing editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at 205-221-2840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.