Tag Archives: make believe

We Used to Play Family Now it’s ‘Modern Family’

In last week’s post, I Can’t Come to Terms with my Quasi-Teenage 1st Grader , I realized that my child is not the only child who’s 7 going on 17.  I have to believe that the fact that my daughter and I are having these teenage sounding conversations during bouts of playing make-believe is a sign that she’s still a kid, phew.  Though, I have to ask, when her favorite scenario is one where I’m Jay and she’s Gloria, is it a sign that her innocence is a distant memory?

For those of you living under a rock, that was a Modern Family reference.  My 7 year old has Sofia Vergara’s walk, talk, attitude, and ditsy miscommunication down to a science.   Of course, she expects me to play the reluctantly accommodating husband to her fanciful whims.

Other favorites scenarios include:

1.  She is Gloria and I am Manny.

2.  She is – insert girl name here, but assume it’s a name of some young chippie from the formulaic star making machines that are Disney or Nickelodeon and that within a few years said young chippie will be posing inappropriately in Vanity Fair or Playboy.  Names may include: ie. Carly, Victoria, China, Rocky ect. –

Who will show boobies first?

I am to play the roles of the two cutest boys in school.  Both are hopelessly in love with her and stammering while trying to get out the simplest of statements.  (This by the way, is by her request that I stutter and throw in a sprinkling of “ums, uhs, I ums, wha’s, and duhs.”)  She also asks that I sometimes faint at the sight of her and explains that if my characters were in a cartoon they would have hearts instead of eyeballs.

They (both me) are then required to fight over her in some manner and she has to choose who she will be with and whose life she will ruin, or she tells them both that she is moving to New York, knowing that with each passing day they will slowly die inside.

3.  She is, insert name of the week here, and I’m a mousy girl who is amazed by her fashion sense, talents, smarts, athleticism, and humility. I simply want to be like her or be friends with her.  She is so kind and tells me why I should like being me, then she even offers to set me up with a boy that I like, who is unfortunately already pining over her.  This makes my date all kinds of awkward, and not just because I’m playing both parts, but because I have a one night stand and then I have to face me in the morning.

Relax- I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.  I totally added the last part.   Though my daughter actually did come up with a scenario last week in which she informed that she would be a girl in high school and therefore pregnant.

We hit the pause button on the game for just a bit that day.

Moving on…

4.  I am a deprived British girl who lives in a hovel and signs up for a contest to live with my favorite movie star, who just so happens to be her character.  Though I have a computer, I can’t afford a cell phone or email, which makes alerting me that I’ve won the contest a task in itself.  Then when I get to live with said movie star (Yesterday, J. Lo) I do something rude or perhaps I faint too many times and find my prize taken away by my overbearing mother, who is also played by me.

5.  I’m a street urchin who has never known a family or what it’s like to eat anything but paper.  She is a beautiful, compassionate girl who takes me in and allows me to stay with her, much to the dismay of her evil sister, Delilah (also me) who likes to verbally abuse street urchins and physically abuse family pets and then release them into the wild.

6.  She is a mermaid who I find living in my lake.  She agrees to come live with me until my father (also me) insists that there is no such thing as mermaids and proclaims her tail to be nothing more than an elaborate costume.  She then refuses to live with me because my father cannot come to terms with the abomination of nature that she is, or something like that.

To contrast the maturity in the content of these scenarios we can often play them out as Barbies, My Little Ponies, Groovy Girls, Polly Pockets, La La Loopsies, Webkinz, or any inanimate object that can be tilted as if talking.  Yes, fingers, straws, and pencils are feasible candidates.

In fact, if you happen to be in a Grand Lux and overhear a mother telling her child about the stigma of teenage pregnancy using Wikki Stix, you might as well assume it’s me.

You don't get to go to parties when there's a baby at home.

I Can’t Come to Terms with My Quasi-Teenage First Grader | When Clueless Meets My Little Pony

We say it all the time, “my kid’s 6 going on 16” or as I like to say, “She was born a 7th grader,” but how do you reconcile the lag in actual and perceived age?

Heels and an Elmo? Point made!

Not unlike my hubby, my kids are stuck somewhere between adulthood and infancy?  My daughter, like most little girls now a days, embodies this dilemma a bit too well.

On some level, my daughter’s ready for a day at the Galleria with the girls, while at the same time she maintains a sweet innocence that’s more fitting of her numerical age.  It’s the conversations during our imaginary play that truly highlight this incongruity…

They also makes me laugh so hard that I pee.

Sorry, I was beginning to sound too astute, I mean knowingish for my liking.  (That should fix it.)

She  gets the flow of small talk – the cadence, the structure, the usual phrasing, which takes our play to a whole other level.

Yesterday she asked to braid my hair.

Ryan:  “Sit down ma’am.”

Me:  “K.”

Ryan:  “So, how’s things?”

Me:  “Pretty good, you?”

Ryan:  “I can’t complain… Been watching a lot of the sports channel these days?” (a questions directly influenced by the males in my household.)

Me:  “Nope, not so much sports these days.”

Ryan:  “How about that weather, huh?”

Me:  “Yep, it’s crazy stuff.”

The chit chat went on for a while.  Luckily, I found it more enjoyable then I do when I’m forced to have it with people I didn’t birth from my womb.

(Which, by the way, is most people.  I thought I’d clarify that point.)

We went on to switch our make-believe scenario to a school situation.  Our imaginary play is like a game of Monopoly with stockbrokers or investment bankers, melodramatic, high stakes, and never ending.

The characters and situations in our games change, but it’s constantly being played: while I cook, nap, shower, pee.  (Did anyone read the Night Circus?)

Ryan (who is always the boss in make believe world… as well as actual world, come to think of it): “Let’s pretend you passed me a note in class and I was really popular and everyone liked me and you were shy and kinda weird looking, but I was going to be nice to you anyway, because I’m always nice.”

Me:  “Don’t do me any favors, kid.  I mean, how kind of you, no wonder you’re so popular.”  Just like in the real world.

Ryan: “OK, now let’s say you passed me a note and I answered all the questions correctly.  Like anything with math or spelling, you know?”

Quick what 7+5?

Me:  “Well, when people send notes they aren’t usually asking academic questions.  They’re saying stuff like, ‘Do you like Billy?’ or ‘Are you going to Jessica’s party Friday night?’ You know, more personal stuff.”

Ryan:  “OK OK, (exasperated, as if my explanation droned on for hours) I’ll make up the questions you are going to ask in the note and then I’ll tell you what I’m answering, as the person I’m being.”

Me: “OK”

Ryan:  “So you understand how it works, right mom?

Me:  “I got it.”  Clearly she thinks I’m a bit slow.

Ryan: “Explain it to me?”

Me:  Sheesh, no one takes you on your word anymore.  “OK Ryan, you’re going to tell me the question I supposedly wrote on our pretend note and then you’re going to also answer that question how you would answer it.”

Ryan:  “Good, now, Are you a vegetarian?  (pause to answer her own question) Yes.  Do you like hot dogs? (pausing again) No.”

Me: “Well, that was a really long pause for a vegetarian.”

Ryan:  “Moooooooooaaaaaam, stop, I’m still going!  Are you Jewish?  Yes.  Do you like ham? No.”

Me:  “ Wait a sec, can we go back a couple?  Wow, that religion question sandwiched in there between the deli meats caught me a bit off guard.  Did you ask for a reason?”

Ryan:  “I don’t know.  These are your questions, remember?  Ughhh, I knew you didn’t get it.”

Me:  “OK, I forgot.” Apparently, I go around asking people if they’re Jewish or maybe I wanted to see if she keeps kosher.

Ryan:  “K. Do you like presents?  Yes.”

Me: “Are we done?”

Ryan: “No, one more.  Ummmmmm… Do you like rainbows?  Yes.

OK, I’m done.  Now you be the person who wrote the note and react to my answers.”

Me: “Wow, Ryan.  We reall…”

Ryan:  “Pause game.  My name in the game is Ali. Sheesh.”

Don’t you just love when kids try to pause non-video games?

Me:  “Sorry, I’m on it, Ryan.”

Ryan:  “ALI!”

Me:  “Ali.”

Ryan: “OK, go on.”

Me:  “Wow, Ali, I see we have a lot in common.

Ryan:  “Really?”

Me: “Well, you like presents and I also like presents.

Ryan:  “You do?”

Me:  “Yep, and we’re both Jewish, so of course there’s the similarities in our religious, not to mention, social upbringing.”

Ryan:  “Uh-huh, there’s that”

Me:  “Yep, and you know what else I like?  Rainbows, except I really like unicorns.”

Ryan:  “OMG, me too.”

Me:  “What are the odds?  Two Jewish girls who don’t eat pork and like presents, rainbows and unicorns?

Ryan:  “That’s crazy, huh?”

This is what happens when you’re 7 years old with the attitude  7th grader, conversations are a cross between Clueless and My Little Pony.