Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Sure My Kid Grows to be Good and Warped

I don't know why (probably because I am a terrible parent with limited imagination), but I can't think of any "let's pretend" games to play with Whitney that don't involve scaring the crap out of her. Fear (or pretend fear - sometimes it's hard to tell) is such a big part of our daily play, she makes up things to be afraid of all the time. We were at a birthday party last month where Whitney spent a good chunk of time either fake crying about, or running away from, a small green ball. I had to explain to the other guests that my daughter wasn't actually scared - that I've been teaching her to run from imaginary things because ... because ... uh, because she likes it? I'm pretty sure more than one person was thinking about calling CPS on me after the party ended and, to be honest, I'm still waiting for them to knock on my door.

Games Whit and I Play on a Regular Basis: 

1. Pink Monster/Monsters on the Rocks
We pretend we're being chased by a small, pink monster (or, sometimes, monsters that live on the rocks outside of our house) and we hide in my bed, under the covers. Every once in awhile, I'll peer out, crouch back under the blanket, and say "I think I saw something! Did you see it?!" and "I'm so scared!!" She loves this game.

2. Ants Gonna Bite My Chin
Whitney came up with this game all on her own. She INSISTS that the ants she sees on the pavement are going to bite her - mainly on her chin. I don't know why, but I didn't even think to discourage it until I saw her babysitter tell her that the ants aren't going to bite her and that they can't even reach her chin because she's so tall (as tall as a tree!) to them. Previously, I had been saying "The ants are going to bite you?! Quick quick - run away!" To this day, half of the time I tell Whit to run and the other half, I tell her she has nothing to be afraid of.

3. Alligators and Crocodiles
I made this one up last night because I didn't want to play Pink Monster (which would involve me getting up off the couch, running to my bedroom, and hiding - too much work). I told Whitney that there were alligators and crocodiles on the floor and if we stepped on the carpet, they would bite our toes off. Then I dangled her feet off the couch and whisked them out of the way, in the nick of time, before the alligators and crocodiles had a chance to bite her. Then, we counted her toes to make sure she wasn't missing any. When Chase's friend, Eric, came to visit, Whitney played Alligators and Crocodiles with him, too, reinforcing her irrational fear of the imaginary creatures that live in our house.

4. Spooky Bathroom
Okay, this isn't so much a game as it is an exclamation every time we use the potty. I don't turn the light on in the bathroom right away, just so I can hear Whitney go "Oooooh. It's spooooooky!"

What do you guys do to entertain your kids? What "Let's Pretend" games do you have when you're goofing around with them?

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