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I know I’ve blogged about the nightly Dolphie theatrics before. Or at least I’ve written about how Simon has been role-playing with Dolphie for some time. A little over a year ago, Dirty Dog and Dirty Dog’s twin were upstaged by a little rainbow stuffed dolphin who became Simon’s surrogate sibling.

Well let me tell you, if you thought Dolphie getting an IEP for speech therapy was nuts, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Because as it turns out, that was just the beginning of the madness. Over the course of the past six months or so, Dolphie has been joined by three siblings. They are: Sharkie, a stuffed (what else?) shark; Rae, a stuffed sting-ray Jim and Evie brought back from Florida; and Mandy, a stuffed manatee, also from Florida, ferried by Aunt Bobbie.

With this crew, Simon has managed to create an entire make-believe family, imagine what it must be like to have siblings, and take a stab at parenting a family of four. Each girl—and yes, they are all girls—has a distinctive personality by now. Rae, the oldest, is smart and fast, but she also sometimes stings people. You have to keep an eye on Sharkie for obvious reasons. Dolphie is the original sea sibling, the second-oldest, the ring-leader of the group, and is a good girl even if she’s slightly hyper at times. Mandy is the youngest of the group, and she struggles to keep up with her siblings because age and girth keep her from being able to do some of the same things they do.

How’s that for crazy?

What is perhaps less crazy is that all of this role-playing is providing a mirror into my own parenting and Simon’s instincts to nurture others. For example, Rae, like all the aquatic sisters, says “hee” a lot. Three nights ago I was informed of the following:

“Mama, Fairy Rays* only say ‘hee’ until they are 10. So I only have four short years left before Rae never ‘hees’ again!” [Insert sad, sighing sound here.]

Thus it would appear that Simon has learned to mourn the too-swift passage of time from me. I thought I was getting better about vocalizing my concern at how fast Simon is growing up, but this has certainly put me on notice. Then again, it’s nice to know that Simon is enjoying surrogate parenting.

On a more positive note, Simon is always, always asking me questions related to favoritism among the girls. As with all questions in this line, whether they are about the preschoolers I teach, family members, or his friends, I decline to answer the way he wants me to and refuse to rank people. Two nights ago, in response to something or other Simon said or did regarding Mandy, I turned the tables on him:

“Simon, is Mandy your favorite?”

“No, Mama, I don’t have favorites. Mandy just gets the most attention now because she’s a baby. Once she’s older, it won’t be like this.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Although, it would appear, Simon can make up lots of stuff about stuffed animals!

* Rae is a “Fairy Ray” for the same reason the other girls are also fairy version of their species; he had to come up with a reason for the girls to have fur and live on land, and making them fairies allowed him to dispense with normal laws of biology and physics.


One Response to “Teach Your Children Well”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    Forget science and math. This kid has all the makings of a writer. He could rival J K Rowling!

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