More often than not of late, Kitty’s request for a bedtime story has not been one of her many beloved and slightly battered picture books. She’ll sit up in bed with bright eyes expecting a treat, and ask for “a story from your head”.
Oddly enough my powers of imaginary storytelling only work when two little girls are snuggled down in bed and the curtains closed but from then on I’m happy to scrape together an adventure for Princess Kitty and Princess Elma, with a bit of Snow White and Goldilocks thrown in for good measure. I tell them the stories of the days they were born, of cute things they did when really tiny, and the adventures H and I had before they were born. H tells tales from his childhood, or the adventures of Ethel the pink monkey and Kitty chips in with a few suggestions of her own.
It’s a bit of fun, and seems somehow so very representative of Kitty right now. Over the last few months her ability to imagine has really taken off and I’m loving watching what her mind can create.
She’ll dress up as a princess for fun, but doesn’t really try to reenact any of the films (which is a good thing because we’re all out of talking mice right now), but I do get to see her days at nursery through her eyes as she pretends to be “teacher”, or one of her friends, and tells Elma and I what we have to do to stand in for any number of nursery staff and fellow three and four year olds.
We’ve had a good few times of “you be the baby and I’ll be the Mummy!” and lots of playing at being at Jack and the Beanstalk, but the ones I love the best are the scenarios and games she makes up just for herself, or just for her and Elma.
We brought them home from nursery hot pink and and bit sweaty during the week and sent them straight out into the garden to sit in the shade while we brought out a big bucket of water for them to splash in. And because it’s us and because the girls seemed to enjoy it the bucket sat there for the rest of the week.
Kitty decided that it needed a duck or two and added a few handfuls of bath toys at some point which Elma likes to lift in and out and that seemed to be as far as they’d taken it, until I turned around from hanging out the laundry to discover that they’d got the plastic golf clubs and were vigorously sploshing them up and down in the water.
I watched, tried to work it out, failed and eventually curiousity got the better of me.
“What are you playing lovelies?”
But of course!