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Buy, Buy Babies

January 22, 2013

Like most kids, mine are always pretending. They hunt and fight bad guys, they are superheroes, or they are some type of animal. They are wizards, royalty, Star Wars characters, doctors, or scientists. They are babies. Or they are fighting.

When three year-old Lily is being a baby, she likes to use props. Recently, she asked for a pacifier (read – lollipop), and I was so impressed by her cleverness that I gave it to her, even though it was 6:45 am. I obviously didn’t think about the long-term ramifications of this choice, and now she wants to be a baby ALL.THE.TIME. Like a real baby with a real pacifier, stopping the paci cold turkey has resulted in more than a few tears. My kids didn’t really use pacifiers (there wasn’t room in their mouths, since they were on me 24/7), so this is probably punishment for my “I’m so glad we didn’t do that” attitude about pacifiers. That Karma is a tricky bitch.

One of Lily’s favorite games is what I like to call “Black Market Baby.” Using both her vast baby collection and her pink cash register, she peddles dolls and stuffed animals to anyone she can get to play with her. Filling up her little shopping cart (carriage, buggy, whatever you call it in your part of the world) with tiny babies, soft babies, princess babies and stuffed animals, she wheels on up and asks, “What baby do you want?” Her ‘customer’ chooses the child of their choice, and then Lily gives them the money to buy it. She obviously doesn’t really know how capitalism works. Lately, much of my purchasing has been done online, so her game has now been revised to include cardboard boxes and deliveries. I’ve sure been getting a lot of babies from Amazon the past few weeks…

Their newest game is a version of ‘Doctor’ that never had a chance. Lily pretends to be unconscious, while five year-old brother, Graham, drags her around the house by her arms or feet. He lugs her to me and then drops her, like a cat offering a mouse. During the game, Graham often checks for signs of life by tickling her or giving her zerberts. So far, he’s been able to successfully revive her. So far.

The kids love this game, but I don’t. The entire time they played it, I was saying “Hey, guys…ummm…if someone is really sleeping and you can’t wake them up, you have to tell a grown-up right away, OK?” Or, “She’s just sleeping, right? You aren’t pretending she’s dead, are you? Because that’s not a good thing to play.” I’m sure it’s hard to enjoy a made up game when your mom’s up your ass the whole time.

Another recent favorite has Lily as the mommy and Graham as the kid. This game is good in that nobody’s dead, and consists mostly of Lily tending to Graham’s every toddler-esque need. She covers him with a blanket, sings him songs, brings him snacks, and rattles toys in front of his face. The only really annoying part of this game is that he is constantly calling out “Mommy!” and I respond. I am not supposed to respond. I am not the mommy in this game. Until I am again, and then they get all worked up that I’m not listening. That, and the baby talk. The way my kids pretend to talk like a baby is nails on a chalkboard to me. It makes my ears bleed. Real babies sound sweet and adorable. My pretend babies sound like screeching owls.

Actually, my kids play well together. Most of the time. They can pretend to be pretty much whatever they want, as long as they aren’t fighting, crying, or whining. Meaning, they can pretend to be anything they want – except kids.

Amy and her husband made two kids: a three year-old girl and a five year-old boy.On her blog, Funny is Family, Amy proves she is expert at nothing but laughing at the absurdity of parenting.

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