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Fantasy and Mimesis

Within the past three weeks, Simon has begun to engage in some imaginative play. It may have started even earlier, but I wasn’t expecting it and therefore wasn’t looking out for it, either.

My friend Amanda was one of the first to spot it. We were eating lunch in the kitchen and she noticed that Simon caught his reflection in a window and carried on quite the conversation with his look-alike friend.

Then we started noticing that Simon was going off-script with some of his books and that his stuffed animals were having conversations with each other and with him. The dirty dogs like to kiss each other, Simon likes to kiss all his stuffed animals, and he’s begun to give his little kitty a voice: “meeeee-oooouuuuuw.”

All of this came to a funny but disgusting climax Wednesday. We were downstairs in the new playroom, when Simon decided to make kitty “climb” up the basement pole. I took over to have kitty climb all the way to the top, cry out because she was stuck, and then leap into Simon’s arms to be rescued.

He loved it so much we did it at least seven times. Buoyed, he started to think about other things kitty could do. Why, kitty could go poop in her potty! And there, tucked into a corner of the room, is Percival and Tristan’s downstairs litter box. Just about the time I realized what was happening, and long before I could intervene, I watched in horror as Simon squealed, “Meow, meow, poo poo cat, yuck cat,” shoved his hand through the swinging door on the covered litter box, and tossed kitty in.

Needless to say, kitty’s next adventure was being washed. We’ve declared a spending moratorium for as long as we can hold out, but I think Simon may be getting a few kitty accessories help him role play without getting toxoplasmosis.

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