Friday, September 23, 2011

Should I Be Concerned?

My four year old daughter is precocious and smart and often elects to be silent.

So yesterday when she produced a menagerie of animals and dolls at the table and began imaginary play by herself, I eavesdropped.

There's a reason that one should not poke one's nose into the musings of another's thoughts unwelcomed. 

It can unnerve. 

She began singing.  I tried to catch the lyrics but the meaning caught me up.  She was play acting all of the villains from the Little Mermaid, Pokemon, My Little Pony, Phineas and Ferb, Dora and Thundercats merged into one.  I waited for the hero to save the day, the barbie to be rescued, the pony Rainbow Dash to fly in at the nick of time, even a Thundercats HO! call to arms.


Not a peep.

Ursula won. Team Rocket Won.  Nightmare Moon and Doofensmurtz, Swiper and Mum-rah won!
She let out a triumphant cackle, the kind that usually ends the first half of a two parter episode where the bad guy seems to have the upper hand.  I made her lunch and mine.   I didn't want to interrupt.  I was waiting for the second act.

"You think you will win but you will not!" She was gloating. "For I am the greatest in the WORLD...." She let her voice float along dramatically holding that last word.

I waited, "Lunch?" 
"Yes! That would ...please me." she said in deep tones. We were now channeling Darth Vader I think, from the old version that is on VCR tapes.

A butter sandwich, yogurt, goldfish crackers and a banana later, she was back in her world. 

The heroes never showed up or they were beaten but she seemed to be having a splendid time.  Now I don't ever recall having the self possession to roll play outside of the parameters of the good guy as a kid; shoot I wouldn't even allow myself to be a villain in Dungeons and Dragons when I was a teen, much less find myself sorted in Slytherin as an adult so I wondered that a little girl barely old enough for pre-school would find the forces of chaos so compelling as versus those of sweetness and light. 

Part of it was the rump roast effect of getting the assigned roll by older sisters in games, she'd come to know these second tier characters first because she had to wait her turn for the prime spots that others who were older had jump claimed in any play that took place.   Part of it was personality; the villains were much less transparent in their actions and motivations and my daughter liked keeping her cards close to the vest.   I decided that rather than fret, I'd be direct.

"Why do you like the villains?" I asked, trying to seem very casual.
"Mom..." she gave me a look of amusement, one that made her seem at least eight years older than she is, "It's only pretend."

Perhaps I need to get out a bit more. 

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