Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grandma Tales

She was born into royalty. There was a tiara on her bassinet and everyone called her princess—and so it was so. By the age of three, she was asserting her regal rights. She had everything defined and catalogued. It was by her whim and approval that things were done. . And so it was on a certain afternoon that she decided to move the royal entourage from inside the house to the backyard. The impending plan was to take all the babies (stuffed toys, dolls, plastic figures, and paper playthings) to the deck chairs and then formulate a game to play with them. On the way outside, she came up with the perfect “pretend”. “Let’s pretend the babies are sick and you have to call emergency (*royal term that means 911, ambulance, personnel or hospital) and they have to come and get the babies and take them to the hospital.” It had been a long day of play and this sounded like something that Gigi could accomplish with her mind in neutral and so she willingly agreed. By this time, all the babies were in a deck chair and Gigi was sitting in another chair beside them. Princess Joy almost never sat and so she was out in front giving directions as fast as they came into her mind. “O.k., pretend the babies are sick and you call emergency.” Gigi says,” brring, brring,. Hello, we have some sick babies, please come and get them.” The princess starts jumping up and down in excitement and yelling “here they come, here they come to get the babies. O.k., now pretend they’re going to the hospital.” Gigi starts picking up babies and plopping them down in the chair on the other side of her (which does not require her to stand up or walk). “No, Gigi, that isn’t the hospital, this is. “ She’s pointing to a chair three spaces down (which WILL require standing and walking). “ They are exactly the same kind of chair. “Why can’t this one be the hospital? “ “ Because it isn’t, Gigi..” Gigi sighs a sigh of defeat and picks up an armful of babies and starts to put them in the hospital chair. “No, no, no, they are really sick and they have to be taken one by one so they don’t get sicker.” “ I am being very careful and I think the emergency (*ambulance) can hold this many at once.” “ No, no, no, Gigi, you have to do it this way.” “ Why?“ “ Because it’s just pretend and just pretend is whatever I say it is.” Royalty speaks; commoners obey. For the next half-hour, sick babies are transported from one chair to the identical chair farther down. During that half-hour, Gigi learns that you take the little babies first and then the big babies, but you have to put the big babies in the back of the group and the little babies in the front. This presents another problem of arrangement, because the ones you transport first sort of get put at the back. The babies have to be evacuated to another chair and then rearranged in the hospital chair. But even a princess sometimes tires of her kingdom and so she decided to leave the babies for awhile in order to make chalk pictures in some appealing squares of concrete. Gigi wanted to be the idea person and let Princess Joy have all the fun, but the princess said, “Just pretend that you are my friend and this is our work. And you have to work too, because it’s just pretend and can be whatever I say.” Thankfully, there were some bottles of bubbles by the chalk, and the princess decided to blow bubbles up in the sky. She didn’t have time to wait to give the new directions on how to play this game, but sent a few bubbles quickly skyward, when her attention was drawn to formation after formation of migrating birds. She came over and crawled into Gigi’s lap and they took in the wonder. The princess thought they must be blackbirds because that was their color. Gigi agreed…distance and color perception shouldn’t be explained when it required all the senses to revel in the splendor of the sight. Minutes passed and she asked in a quiet voice, “Gigi, do you know where they’re going?” Not waiting for a reply, she continued, “South. They’re flying south.” “Where in the south?,” Gigi asked. “ I just told you” was her quick response, “ South.” She said it confidently and affirmatively in the way she would say the desert or the ocean or the top of the mountain. South. The formations were beginning to be scraggly and she hopped down and thought of a new idea. “Let’s blow bubbles up in the sky and see if they’ll look like the blackbirds, and they can fly south with the blackbirds, o.k., Gigi? “ Gigi thought this was the best idea of the day: After all, this COULD happen in the realm of just pretend-- An orderly universe, an agreeable companion, a wondrous sight on a storybook day.

I love just pretend!

Posted by The Editor for Gigi

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