Master T is about 34 months old now, and his brain is currently going through its imaginational explosion phase. The great thing about it is that he is really unconstrained by reality, or any other notions of how things ought to be, which I’m finding very entertaining. We still play pretend games like we always have – rubbish trucks and cutting down trees are still favourites – but now the story-lines incorporate lots of unlikely and impossible fantasy elements. I guess, having only been conscious for the past 2 years or so, he doesn’t know any better, but that doesn’t explain why he wasn’t doing it before. I prefer to believe that it’s because children are creative geniuses
We play a game where one asks the other “what are you?”, and then we make up something to be. Right now he not only tells me that he is various animals etc., but he sometimes tells me that he is multiple things; he recently told me that he was two dogs and a monkey. Huh! It never even occurred to me to pretend to be several things; or if it did, I had since forgotten about it.
Right on cue I got a shipment of new stock from Susu Mama, which included some rainbow fairy tops with these shiny pink wings sewn into the back of them. T is pretty fond of butterflies, so when he saw them he quickly insisted that one was his. I was a bit nervous about him accompanying Papa to the city library in it, but Papa reckons everyone greeted him with kind smiles (unlike this poor little guy’s experience), so I’m relieved that everyone around here is cool (or at least, if they’re not, they know well enough to shut up about it).
There’s some serious plasticity about his imagination as well. A few days ago a scrap of cardboard he found morphed from a whipper-snipper, a tree, a flag, and something else I’ve forgotten, within the space of a few minutes. He always wakes up shouting about something imaginary, usually something outlandish (this morning it was something about an extremely large boy), though sometimes not. I was impressed when I woke up to hear him shouting to himself “Donald Duck have underpants? No underpants! Find underpants!” I’m not sure most adults would notice that the duck isn’t wearing any pants.
He has started speculating about things as well. We had a noise in the ceiling last night, and he asked me what it was. I said “probably an animal, maybe a possum”, and he replied that maybe it was a possum, or maybe it was a bat, an ant or a kookaburra. He even got so far as deciding that the sound was too loud to be an ant (with a bit of prompting), which gave me a nice little peek into how creativity feeds into reasoning and solving problems.
This creative phase is heaps of fun, and I’m learning little things from it as well. I do hope that I can nurture this creative instinct in him.