Thursday, February 2, 2012

Unicorn as profession of the gifted? Yeah, I have my doubts, too.

So, lately the three year old has been front and center in this family in terms of sociopathic behavior.  She may have oppositional defiant syndrome, she may have split personalities, she may have visions, and she might be delusional.  The jury is still out.

I don't think any of my older kids ever had imaginary friends.  I think the three year old does.  The friend's name is Elisa.  Here is what I know about her:  she is "like a princess," she lives in a castle, her parents are never mean, her parents never spank her, she can eat cookies and candies whenever she wants, she spends a lot of time on the Wii, she is around five years old, she has a brother (sometimes), and she goes to school (sometimes).  Here are the details that are sketchy:  how my daughter met Elisa, where Elisa actually lives (What is her castle near?), whether or not anyone else in our family knows Elisa, and whether or not we could sometime in the future meet Elisa.

Currently Girl 3 plans parties for Elisa, she talks about her like she was alive and real, she obsesses on Elisa's family, and she often spends more time talking about Elisa than about us (her real family).

Because I was mildly concerned about this new obsession, I extensively researched imaginary friends (via status updates on Facebook), and here is what I have learned:  imaginary friends are common and quite hilarious, I'm frankly surprised this is not more stand-up comedy fodder, some kids have gone to great lengths to give their friends fascinating details, in the history of man imaginary friends have taken the rap for everything from eating the last cookie to skipping school, having imaginary friends may be psycho-babble for sorting out issues within your own family (blech), and kids who have imaginary friends *might* have significantly higher IQs than kids that don't.  All in all my research showed:  Good news?  I guess?  Don't analyze my family?  My last kid is clearly a genius or if anything WAY smarter than the others?  I should be happy?  Right?

Well, here is where I am skeptical.  Let me take you back a few days ago when baby and I were in the grocery store check-out line.  A delightful older gentleman was in line behind us and was chuckling as baby was loudly belting out B-I-N-G-O while asking me a million questions far beyond her level (one of them being the purpose of Feminine Products).  This tolerant (possibly hard of hearing) older man asked her her name and how old she was to which she responded appropriately and with remarkable gusto.  He then asked her if she knew her ABCs.  She belted out a good 19 out of 26 letters and he clapped when she was "done."  He then commented to me, "You have a smart cookie on your hands."

Trust me, I did not get excited.  I was born at night, but not last night.  Plus, I have three older children.  So, I know better than to get excited when someone compliments my childrens' intelligence or behavior.  The compliment only means that they will immediately do something so ridiculously stupid (pick their nose and eat it, loudly ask an incredibly nonsensical question, slug their sibling in the nose, fart and then laugh, etc.) that it will cause you to leave them behind at whatever public place you happen to be.  Therefore, I just smiled silently.

He then turned to baby and enthusiastically said, "YOU ARE SO SMART!  What are you going to be when you grow up?"

To which baby (grinning a wildly psychotic grin) equally enthusiastically shouted, "I AM GOING TO BE A UNICORN WHEN I GROW UP!!!  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP???"

Kids with imaginary friends *might* be smarter?  Someone save us.

14 comments:

Shannon said...

As I was reading this I realized that only Gray had an imaginary friend. Maybe it was is a 4th child thing?? I kinda miss Pickles now that Gray has outgrown him.

Jae said...

Oh gawd!!! I wanted to be a unicorn when I grew up TOO! She's just so damn precious!! :-D

Monica said...

yeah, i think it might have something to do with fourth child as well. she's always railing on and on about how elise's family is so great. hmm. no analysis by a shrink needed there, eh? what did your other boys tell gray about pickles??? my other kids have given her the third degree and then conferred (to her face) that elise is a fake. that helps. ;o)

Lil Tirade said...

Girl 3 must be VERY SMART!

I had an imaginary friend and so did my girl. My boy currently has one. My husband did not ever have one and I've explained to him that he clearly lacks imagination and that the rest of us are smarter than him. For some reason, he does not agree. Whatever!

jamiew said...

ok, mine (one and only) had an imaginary dragon named Paco, (pronounced PACK-oh, not like taco), he knew the alphabet pretty early, etc. and you know how he's turning out thus far: super geek. which i am cool with, so long as he doesn't end up in prison for white-collar crimes (or blue-collar) before he can make my retirement comfortable.
so i guess my point is...i dunno, lost it.
just be glad she is super confident & can take pretty much anything due to having older sibs!

Monica said...

@lil tirade - ha! clearly - all imaginary friends aside - YOU are more creative than hubby (not that i know either of you or am qualified to make that judgement). ;o) @jamiew - if my kid (ANY of my kids) are half as smart as your one kid (i guess that could even be collectively), i will be thankful and well taken care of in retirement. ;o) so, my point is............what's my point? ahem.

Terri said...

As a teacher of gifted students, that you, my friend, are in for the ride of your life. I hope she attends my school some day!

Shannon said...

For weeks and weeks Gray would see Pickles everywhere and even insist on him having a setting at the table. Thankfully the FS insists on giving us table big enough to seat an army.

Then one night Cody had a sleep over and when his friend Mikey came in the door Grayson screamed PICKLES then bodily attached himself to Mike's leg where he stayed until pried off at bed time. For the rest of the time we lived in Jakarta Gray would attach himself to Mikey at every opportunity and only ever addressed him as Pickles, he would actually argue if you tried to tell him his name was Mikey. When Dakota talked about flying to the Netherlands to visit Mikey (he's Dutch) last summer Gray perked up and asked Pickles?? We thought he had long forgotten about him.

Thank God Mikey is one cool kid and took it all in stride and even thought it was funny that he WAS Gray's invisible/visible friend. And yes Gray continued to see Mikey everywhere and continued to insist on setting a place at the table for him daily when Mike was at home at his own house. What does it say about my kid that his imaginary friend had an actual not so imaginary identity?

Oh in case you are wondering I did have an imaginary friend. She was a witch. She could do bad things to people who were mean to me, usually my parents. Good damn thing she was imaginary.

Monica said...

@terri - well, we'll see. ;o) she gives us a run for our money, that's for sure. @shannon - love grayson's mind!

Hines-Sight said...

My son had them. I think they are gone now, but they weren't normal looking, and he named them Goo=Goo and Ga-Ga. Luckily, we don't hear about them now. I think he's pretty smart. My friend assured me it was all normal, and I will say he is creative. Doesn't have a lick of athletic ability, but quite good at the arts. :)

David said...

Ok, you need to watch "Drop Dead Fread". One om my favorite movies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_Dead_Fred
Talk about mischief... Her friend will show up again later in life.

Monica said...

@leigh - well, all kidding aside, i have learned that millions of kids had 'em or have 'em now. so...who knows? @david - i think i've seen that movie. but, my memory is sooo bad. i will have ed get it for us because now i will not be able to stop wondering about it...so, thanks? ;o)

Shawnna said...

My kid (#1 Boy) had an imaginary friend - Beaver - an actual Beaver with brown fur and a flat tail - and Beaver was a girl - makes for lots of interesting conversations!! This year in school he had to have an 'indian' name - he chose 'Boy Who Plays with Beaver' - his teacher about peed her pants...

Nomads By Nature said...

I don't know how I missed this blog post!! Thanks for linking it. Totally cracking up on the imaginary friends. My daughter had two: Hanken and Sissy. Hanken was her brother. Sissy was her sister who lived in Mexico City and was gonna have a baby. My daughter was so convincing about them we were always asked about them and from which previous marriage they are from. When she started talking about marrying Hanken, her brother, we knew it was time to get her outta Dodge (North Carolina).

There was an error in this gadget