So my mother loves to tell people that I had imaginary friends when I was a little kid. I hear it's a sign of intelligence to talk to little invisible beings...mine were named Chatti and LaLa. Mom's favorite story about them is when I left them in a store and made her go back and get them. Apparently I was quite emotional, and persuasive enough to get her to turn around and save my poor little friends from being abandoned in the women's section of Rudolph's. I'm guessing that the sales people thought my Mom was a bit unbalanced, holding my hand on one side and and Chatti's on the other as we walked back out the door.
Who would have thought that 30 years later, my little girl would follow in my tiny footsteps? This weekend I sat on the couch and E screamed. "Oh, Mommy! You sat on my babies!" Huh? I moved over to the next cushion and looked at the spot where I had just been sitting...nothing there. "Mommy, you smushed them." I had to apologize, but when I tried to feed them an imaginary bottle, I was shut down. "No, Mommy. Don't do that. They're sad."
I know that I need to encourage this play, and I hate being the enemy...so I asked in a friendly voice, "What are their names?" She thought for a minute, and came up with "Callie, Shallie, and Kashi." So when she went to bed, we tucked the three babies under E's blankets so they would be warm. I don't mind interacting with babies I can't see in the privacy of our own house, but I wonder what I'll do if E ever leaves them in a department store. When push comes to shove, will I risk being judged insane for the sake of my toddler's feelings? I'm betting we'll find out soon enough. That Shallie is a little stinker, just like Chatti.