My children are both blessed with very active imaginations. The latest round of imaginary play has centered around Beatrice playing the role of "Mama Allison", Theo starring as "Allie," and rounding out the cast is a baby doll named "Lizzy." The husband/father is "Mark."
Typically, the game starts off with Beatrice (Allison) telling Theo (Allie) to do something or to go get a blanket or bottle for Baby Lizzy. Often this game benefits me because Mama Allison is currently potty training Allie. I've been able to outsource some mothering.
Last night's scene was my favorite thus far in this little game. Beatrice was in her room tending to the baby while I was putting her laundry away. "Thanks for doing the laundry, LalaLina." Did I mention that I'm LalaLina, the aunt?
Suddenly Beatrice jumps up and grabs her 'phone' (my non-working 10- year old PalmPilot--remember those?)
"Oh hi, Mark. [Pause] Will you be home soon? [Pause] Ok. Bye honey."
She turns to me "Mark's out to dinner with his friends."
"Oh" I say. "Does he go out a lot with his friends?"
"Not too much" she replies.
"Does he help you with the kids?" I press on.
"Ya sometimes. But sometimes he just acts like a big kid."
Where the hell does she come up with this stuff? I go downstairs and repeat this dialogue to Cory and we both laugh wondering where she's getting these phrases. I've never uttered those words about Cory. I give him shit about other things but we are pretty much even steven on the parenting front. We don't really play that "Good cop/Bad cop" / "mom is the serious one and dad is the childish/crazy one" stuff at my house.
A couple of minutes later Beatrice comes downstairs to report that Mark is on his way home "He didn't end up going out to dinner. Just drinks." (She's definitely heard this statement at our house.)Cory chuckles from the couch, where he's scrolling away on his iPad.
Me: "Oh, Ok. Does Mark take you out too or does he just go out with his friends?"
Beatrice: "Ya, we go out to dinner sometimes. But he's always looking at his iPad at the table." Then she shoots Cory the most fantastic dirty look ever. He glances up, with a nod of his head, acknowledging that little bit of "Mark" that lies within.
I'll be keeping my eye on this "Mark" character. My daughter deserves an equal partner-- one that supports her and actively fathers his children. Oh wait, Mark is a figment of her imagination. Perhaps I should ease up on my 5 year old daughter's fictitious husband.
This gal never ceases to entertain me.