Imaginary Friends

When we shipped the oldest three off to school in August, Boo was left at loose ends. As the youngest of four, she’s simply never had to play by herself. This has left me a little ragged. I do not believe that mothers are meant to be playmates, yet I completely understand her boredom. So, I’ve been riding the line between good, healthy mama and helicopter mom. Helping her with puzzles, playing games, doing our home preschool, and – of course – all the running that motherhood requires, all the while also trying to encourage her to learn to play independently.

Then, by the grace of God, Abby appeared.

She came out of nowhere, following a day when Boo had played with a friend named Abby at Mom’s Group. A few days later, Abba started playing with them as well.

Boo, Abby and Abba. They’re quite a team.

Abby and Abba eat lunch with us, have frequent sleepovers at our house, and quite often they are responsible for the messes I find in the basement. Dumped over bins of Barbie accessories, scattered Legos, the doll house lying on its side… “Boo, did you make this mess?” “No, Mommy. It was Abby and Abba.”

OK, so my daughter is learning to lie to me at a terribly young age. But you’ve got to appreciate her imagination.

Most of all, one must appreciate the hours of entertainment provided by these two renegade imaginary friends.

I am happy to set two extra places at the table, happy to buckle an extra seat belt here and there, happy to extend a “hello” to a friend I can’t see. But there’s a limit to how far I’m willing to go.

Here’s our conversation yesterday:

“Mom. I need to go potty.”

“Ok, honey. Go potty.”

“Me and my fwiend need help.”

There you have it. That’s my limit. I draw the line at wiping imaginary bottoms.

Does your child have an imaginary friend? What’s the funniest thing they’ve ever done?



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