Friday, 4 January 2008

Christmas Spirit

I am upstairs tapping at the computer. My daughter is nearby, sitting on the carpet. She has collected a number of her toys and dolls around her and is gesticulating and talking in a hushed voice. I turn my head slightly and listen as she leans close to one of the dolls. She is talking to her about bedtimes and eating tea and being good. She strokes a dress here and pats some hair into place there. I can just hear what she is saying but not every word. I love to watch her caring for all her little inanimate toys.

“Who are they?” I ask, pointing to some dolls near her.

“They are my children.”

“And those too?”

“No, those two are having a playdate” she says. “They’re both boys. That one’s a bit older though, because he was born on Christmas Day.”

“Oh, like Jesus?” I ask.

“No daddy” she says, smiling indulgently. “He’s called Tom.”

She tucks them up under a little blanket. They look loved and cared for and somehow happier than usual. I thought my daughter had an imaginary sister. In fact she has a whole extended family.

53 comments:

Pig in the Kitchen said...

phew, so you see, you didn't have to worry about her not having siblings, she has done the job for you. I love hearing children's imaginary stuff, but it's rather disconcerting when the bossy character has apparently lifted entire phrases from my vocabulary. 'Do I make myself clear?' sounds all wrong in the mouth of a five year old.
Happy New Year SAHD!
Pigx

Stay at home dad said...

Yes, I can concentrate on worrying about other things now Pig...

It's a Saffy moment isn't it... HNY to you too!

Tina said...

You were away too long SAHD. Good to see you back, Happy New Year

Omega Mum said...

Happy New Year, SAHD. Why don't you take a leaf out of your lovely daughter's book and start having imaginary coffee mornings, or a series of imaginary school run mothers - I'm sure it would beat the real things into the proverbial cocked hat....

Stay at home dad said...

Hello Tina and happy new year to you. I am planning more posts in 2008!

HNY OM; you think I don't!!

The Grocer said...

Yes, welcome back, you have been missed. Hope 2008 is good for you and yours.
How about an imaginary blog? Would probably get some interesting comments.

Jen said...

Stay at home dad is back in business! Yay! It is always interesting to see them pretending, because we often see ourselves in their play. I once saw one of my preschool pupils immitating me, and I laughed and exclaimed "I don't do that!" All the kids said in unison "Yes, you do"!

Elsie Button said...

yes, it's great to see you! here's to a happy and fun 2008 - full of imaginery friends, blog friends, and real-life friends...

Stay at home dad said...

Thank you Grocer, very kind. An imaginary blog - yes, lots of mileage there...

Thanks Jen. Yes, you definitely do that. They're right.

Hi Elsie. Yes, couldn't have put it better. PS You should have called round for a game of pool!

Elsie Button said...

i know! - i really wanted to wander up to the elbow rooms (specially as i remembered you saying that it's been re-decorated) and walk along westbourne grove, go to Tom's Diner and eat one of their amazing sausage rolls etc, but just didn't have time. Next time!

DJ Kirkby said...

Your daughter sounds so amazing, a lovely, gifted child.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I love watching Amy play with her dolls too. Even though she is 8, she has an interractive imaginative mind of a 5 or 6 year old.

Best wishes to you and your family for 2008.

Crystal xx

Stay at home dad said...

All still here Elsie!

Thanks DJK, she's a sweetie, but otherwise just your average confection of traits...

Thanks CJ, you too. It's a lovely time, full of innocent pleasure.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I thought you'd given up blogging. I think Omega Mum has the right idea: you've been going to imaginary coffee mornings and meeting up with imaginary school mums.
And Happy New Year!

Omega Mum said...

I'm glad to hear it, SAHD. Talking of which, could Bad Lindy borrow some imaginary friends - she says they'll help her make ends meet, as it were, while she's waiting for the real thing to come along. PS I saw you had 62 comments for your previous post. I felt awed. I am going to have some imaginary commenters, thus allowing me to post fulsome tributes to my own blog under different names.

Stay at home dad said...

Happy new year to you too Wakeup... No, not given up but was doing some other stuff. Am planning more blogging this year. And visiting. Or am I imagining it?

Good idea OM! I am in awe that people take the time to come by and be so nice...

@themill said...

I've been away from blog land for more than a month yet I've only missed one post - you've obviously got a life too! Have you moved house yet?
Happy New Year to you and yours.

Stay at home dad said...

Hello @TM and happy new year to you too... Yes a few seem to have been away for reasons of war, pestilence, or the like. No house sale yet. Argh!

carrie said...

That is one of my most favorite things to do -- be an onlooker while my daughter plays (just like yours, might I add) with her "babies." Last night there were five of them tucked in under a blanket next to her bed - I didn't DARE disturb them, for she would probably have read me the riot act in the morning!

Take care, you've been missed.

Stay at home dad said...

Hi Carrie. Thank you, hope all well with you too. I like it but it also makes me sad for some reason (probably only child thing) which I didn't really get across...

Mike said...

great to see you back, HNY to you, and here's to enjoying some more of your posts in 2008.Joke online yesterday about a woman who imagined she had mice in her house and carried an imaginary cat in a box around with her! We can be and do whatever we want in our imagination! mimi not mike

Stay at home dad said...

Hi Mimi. Good to see you too and happy new year. (Is it turning out that way yet?) You're so right - now I must go, I'm off to my imaginary book-signing...

lady macleod said...

When my daughter was young she put all her dolls, horses, and some odd stuffed animals in chairs lined up in rows or in a semi-circle; in front she had a book or chalk board and she would "teach" them. She is now at NYC getting her doctorate in Arabic and Literature and plans on being a Professor.

It is a joy and an adventure to watch them grow and find their way. Enjoy every moment!

Motheratlarge said...

So great you're back - do you have an RSS thingie so I can keep track of when you post? Otherwise I check for a while and then miss your posting.... She sounds like a lovely girl, your daughter. Your post reminded me of a friend who was an only child - the joke in her family is she's 'made up for it' by having four children of her own. Her husband says they've evened up the numbers and now they'll stop. I'd have loved not having to share my parents with a sibling - especially a dad as nice as you.

merry weather said...

It's nice to hear of your little girl playing quietly at your side and I'm smiling over your imaginary book-signing - and why not!

My little boy usually climbs on my lap when I'm at the computer and suffocates me with bear-hugs until I give in, then I let him play with the computer - in his own special account - and he somehow modifies the whole system. Right now everything is in large print; much easier on the eyes I have to admit :)

Stay at home dad said...

Hello your ladyship. I can see her now! Funny how the seeds of later life can be sowed so early on...

Thanks M@L, what a lovely thing to say. I have come to realise that there are advantages on both sides now.

PS I have some RSS thingy on the side bar and a thingamjig you can put your email address into too. Does it work?

Hello Merry. I used to do the same thing. She would spell words as I told her the letters... I am willing to do Rowling-length 5 hour signings. Really. Hope you get the PC fixed!

Sparx said...

Hello SAHD... I have a feeling my last comment got lost... if it did then er... Happy New Year and what a great, evocative post this is - I can't wait for my son to start using imagination in play, it must be amazing. Glad to see you back!

Stay at home dad said...

Happy new year Sparx! Yes it must have got lost - either that or I deleted it by mistake... Thank you so much and yes, it will be wonderful, believe me.

Livvy U. said...

Happy New Year, SAHD... May all our imaginings spin themselves into the here-and-now, and all unwanted thingummy jigs, erm, go away. (Haven't been writing for a while, bit out of practice. But the thought's there) x

Stay at home dad said...

Happy New Year Livvy... Well said... Er, I think! Look forward to catching up soon.

The Poster formerly known as VI said...

Wait until their imaginations develop to cover misdemeanors!

Yesterday my 7 year old informed me that his day at school had been "fine, no problems - a good day as usual". Little did he know that I'd had a phone call from his year tutor informing me that he'd whopped someone over the head and refused to participate in class for his favourite ICT lesson!

"Are you sure?" I asked - "Of course" he said.

Only when I mentioned I'd had a phone call from school did one single eyebrow twitch!

One day he'll make a great defence lawyer!!!!!!

A belated HNY to all - must catch up SAHD!

Stay at home dad said...

Happy New Year to you too vi. That's a great story - yes he's obviously clever enough for his own good! I'm around, for the time being anyway...

Omega Mum said...

To refer to something you said earlier on, there's always an undercurrent of sadness in your blogs. Nothing major - just there and beautifully written, too.

Stay at home dad said...

Thank you OM, very kind. Yes, can I tell you about my parents?

Jan said...

THis little girl has the makings of a story teller..
My brother and I, in our separate bedrooms each end of a long corridor, invented a whole family and each night, we'd "shout" the next episode of their happenings to each other..

Pig in the Kitchen said...

'tum tum te tum, doo doo doo' oh! Hello SAHD! I didn't realise you were here!
Pigx

Stay at home dad said...

I think she probably does, Jan... do you till do that when you see each other? Did your parents complain?!

That's a catchy little ditty Pig. What are you up to?!

reluctantmemsahib said...

yesterday i witnessed my daughter playing with her dolls. her dozens of barbies, many handed down by kind, cooler now that they're older, cousins. ''is it ok to play with dolls, mum'', she asked, a bit worriedly, ''i mean, am I too old?' (at ten). Of course you're not I said, ''i still played with dolls at your age' (I was quite uncool). So she did, got stuck in, with the barbies. a few hours later I was invited to a fashion show. I had to sit down and judge as dozens of barbies minced across the kitchen table in various states of dress (and undress as it happened, some were missing knickers ''ooops'' said my daughter, giggling, ''sorry 'bout that''). Some of the barbies, because they were probably once quite loved by older cooler cousins even if they didn't let on, are a bit ropey. One had a limp (leg kept falling off) and one's neck was broken so her head hung down as she attempted to mince without falling off table. Music blared, I judged (trying not to giggle at almost beheaded barbie) and barbies paraded. A happy hour. which reassured my little girl that dolls were OK: especially given that I was still apparently playing with them (at the wrong side of 40). Long may your own daughter's love of dolls last: they help anchor them in childhood just that wee bit longer ... talking of which, gone on a bit long myself ... sorry!

Stay at home dad said...

That's a lovely story rm. I used to think those dolls were horrible but as they have become something different in my daughter's imagination I have seen another side to them. Hope all is well with you.

Single Mother on the Verge said...

I have a little boy whose children (small teddies) are wrapped up by his bed. He has no father and wants to be a dad. I read the earlier post where you mentioned hovering at school whilst everyone else talks. I happens to me all the time. Why does that happen? So I've made a plan to invite school friends over every weekend, and then on drop off and pick up, I have to talk to other parents. And they have to talk to me. Plus it solves the problem of Jack having no siblings. Your daughter sounds gorgeous.
Smov x

Pig in the Kitchen said...

so there i was cooking tea (veg chilli and rice) and trying not to think about piles of washing, and i thought of you dear SAHD! This was because i came across a men's mag online today for fathers...have you thought about contributing an article? Or perhpas being on the cover, i don't know where your interests lie, but it was just a thought!
here's the link:
http://www.fqmagazine.co.uk/

I usually charge for this sort of meddling career advice, but you can have this first nugget for free...;-)
Pigx

Omega Mum said...

Georgeous yet masculine award waiting for you. You're going to love it.....

Omega Mum said...

Did I tell you there's a fab award, masculine, monochrome, none of that sissy kittens stuff waiting for you. C'mon and get it (if that catchy abbreviation hasn't made you want to vomit).

Iota said...

SAHD - are you still around?

CrazyCath said...

Just discovered your blog through others'. Wonderful, poignant, insightful posts full of pride and love.

I've laughed, cried and laughed again in reading through to catch up.

Evokes such memories and reminds me to treasure those made today.

Thank you.

Stay at home dad said...

Smov your son is heartbreakingly sweet. But not all the time I imagine. Good plan but bearded men don't really have that option (more to follow). Thanks for the comment.

Thank you Pig. Is it like Men's Fitness? In that case I should definitely apply. I will pay, somehow I will pay.

OM/Iota - sorry, been selling our house. Now just got to buy another one. Feel like vomit, but not for that reason, OM...

Hello cc and thank you very much. Yes, it's all about treasuring for me too.

Jan said...

Hope you're OK, SaHD

beta mum said...

Where are you SAHD?
Have you left home?
I have just created a reluctant SAHD and I'm sure he'd welcome a few updated thoughts from a more willing participant in child-rearing.

Stay at home dad said...

Hello jan and beta mum. Thank you for asking. Yes, all ok after the move thanks and hoping for creativity to follow.

Omega Mum said...

It was so lovely to hear from you - and am hoping to read a new post once moving process is done and dusted.

Stay at home dad said...

Hello OM. Nearly back and hoping to post soon. Nice to see you're still going!

CrazyCath said...

Hi there again - newbie on the block!
Can't wait to see you posting again - heard so many GOOD things about you!
Still lurking and checking in to see when you are up and running. You're on my links so I don't forget.
Now there's something to live up to... ;0)

Stay at home dad said...

Hello crazycath and thank you. That should be any time now!