January 21, 2008

So, it's possible that I made some kind of strategic error this morning.

For some time now, O's been pretty attached to the bear that she received in the Bag of Hope that was given to her at the hospital when she was diagnosed. (The bear, which differs in gender from the one shown in the link, has a Medical Alert bracelet and colorful patches where it gets "injections." Olivia calls it Shotsy. No joke.)

We've noticed that Shotsy seems to be a surrogate Olivia when it is convenient.

"Shotsy's tired."
"Shotsy's crying."
"Shotsy's in time out."

We have played along with this, because there really hasn't seemed any reason not to. We suggest that she get Shotsy a blanket, or perhaps have a talk with him about why we don't hit, and that has been the end of it.

This morning, after indulging another obsession, I played along with O's new imaginary friend and then watched incredulously as things took a turn for the worse.

Olivia saw a couple of scenes from A Christmas Story at my mom's house over the holidays, a few crucial scenes, including the one where the little boy loses a bet and gets his tongue stuck to a flagpole. She talked about it for days, until we got the idea that we could probably find that scene for her on YouTube. Mistake #1.

There has been no end to the talk about the flagpole and questions about the flagpole and requests to watch the flagpole, flagpole, flagpole, flagpole. And I'll admit that I have maybe let the flagpole watching go on a bit too long, perhaps on a day when I wanted to clean the kitchen or go to the bathroom by myself.

So, this morning, Olivia starts again with the questions about the little boy.

"What's the little boy's name?"

The only name from the movie I know is Ralph, so Ralph it is.

"Ralph. His name is Ralph."

"Ralph's coming to my house to play."

And so it begins.

"Where's Ralph going to sit? Can Ralph have some granola?"

At first I find this amusing and I am trying to get breakfast in her and if putting another bowl out on the table gets this show on the road, then I am game.

"Sure, Ralph can have some granola."

But, then....

"NOOOOOO, don't take that bowl. Ralph didn't get to eat."
"Is Ralph here, Mommy?"
"When's Ralph coming?"
"Are you going to play with Ralph?"
"Where's Ralph?"

On and on. And then on some more.

I'm immediately stumped. What are you supposed to do with the imaginary friend thing? Ignore it? Play along? Explain Ralph is in a movie and isn't real? Act like I don't speak English?

Trust me, over the course of the day, I got to try them all out. And of course, in that wacky, bent-logic way that two-year-olds have, Olivia had an answer to everything.

Ralph can't play because he's not real? But he's right there!
Ralph can't eat cereal because he's allergic? But he ate some of hers!
Ralph's in time-out? He'll be right back!

Finally, Marc came home, listened for about five minutes, told Olivia that Ralph had to go home for dinner, and that was that.

He hasn't been back since.

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Anonymous alish said...

awesome. tell her ralph is waiting for her in nashville. sooooo glad you're back! xoxox

7:55 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

LMAO at Marc's miraculous ability to make the imaginary friend to go away.

Did Ralph take up all your free time and keep you from blogging? ;)

Kids can be so high maintenance.

Jacob has an imaginary pet that I have to hold, and feed, and put to bed, and lock under the seat belt in the van, and cover if it's cold, and protect it from Brendon who once punched it while it was sitting in a doll stroller. This imaginary pet is completely invisible, btw.

8:05 PM  
Blogger alice said...

LOL! I think Marc's a keeper!

8:56 PM  
Anonymous katiek said...

that's down-right bizarre. But I laughed, alot!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Don't you just hate it when the dad comes home & fixes everything you've tried to fix all day?! It used to happen to me all the time. It always made me a little mad, but I was glad things got fixed anyway. :)

What a great imagination Olivia has! You should keep a log of this kind of stuff & read it back to her when she's older. I did that with my kids & to read back over this stuff is hilarious & heart-warming. Ah, memories...

11:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

LMAO! Thanks so much for the laugh! I have soooo had this happen at my house. Doesn't it just make you want to hit your husband when he just walks in and figures out instantly how to put something like that to an end?

I love her wonderful imagination.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

alish - oh, so Ralph's at your house, is he?

shannon - yes, that's exactly why I haven't been blogging! and I would absolutely love to see you feeding and holding an imaginary pet.

alice - yeah, he's pretty handy to have around.

donna - I don't always have time to get things into the journal I am keeping for O, but I figure she can read the blog one day, right?

katie and lisa - glad we made you laugh!

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best (and only) laugh I have had all day. I love Marc.
FYI, that was one of Scott's favorite movies when he was a kid.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous KentT said...


Miss O has a superb imagination. ROFL about Marc's ability to make the imagined friend depart. Out of the mouths of Toddlers, indeed. Any idea of good Chattanooga endos? Still looking.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

Mimi, tell Uncle Scott that he and O will have to watch it together sometime.

Kent - I'll email you about the endos.

6:54 PM  

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