my daughter is, at this moment, pushing her doll stroller around and around (and occasionally over the dog). but, apparently, she's not my daughter. she's a boy, and i'm a man, and lemma is a boy dog. this boy, when asked, announced that his name is sentimenta. "hey man, say 'bye, sentimenta! have fun at the airport!'" (i comply.) "watch out, boy dog, don't block my stroller. this boy is pushing the baby sister to the airport, to go to the other austin texas where the sky is pink." or, sometimes sentimenta takes the baby to go get groceries. you go for it, sentimenta. don't forget we're almost out of cream cheese. (i don't point out, because i don't need her to know, that her first major foray into playing "boy" is by doing decidedly female-gendered activities. that makes this mama smile, truth be told.)
i previously discussed how reading books is her favorite activity. i'd say if she's not reading books (or, beginning two days ago, playing with the bathroom sink a.k.a. "swimming pool"), she's pretending to be someone and setting up scenarios for us. ah, the joys of imaginative play. i know it's good for kids, but i hope this level of pretending to be elsewhere doesn't mean she's (already) trying to escape her own life, haha. (ha?)
she's been doing this for quite some time (generally pretending to be a baby, or going to the airport), but it really amped up starting a month or so ago. first, it was "meerkats are everywhere" (she does a mean meerkat impersonation). then, in ND, she suddenly decided that she was anna (one of her new little friends). "what is this anna doing?" "no, i'm not eva, i'm anna!" after a few days, she decided she was (her cousin) sarah and i was (sarah's mom) karen, while anyone else around was either an additional karen or uncle john -- and any ajacent dog became a cat. this one persisted for a long while. during the flight home, sarah gave way to baby eliza and i was told i was "big sister anna". i finally figured out that anna and eliza are the only pair of young sisters she really knows, and is (obviously) exploring the role of big sister via these identities.
and now she's sentimenta, dear son to this man (gee, could she be exploring gender? i love how at least sometimes toddler explorations are transparent). oh, don't forget the imaginary sisters from august, bohp and panowah (though bohp has all but disappeared and panowah has transitioned into a new role). she also likes to be my dentist (though i believe that's just a premeditated ruse to be allowed to stick her fingers in my mouth), or to take her sick dog to the "vetinahwian". and sometimes, just to confuse me, "now sarah is being jennifer", my hair stylist, and she pretends to cut my hair. oops, i mean "karen's" hair. (c'mon try to keep up!) we often have parties and picnics or ride in a taxi or subway, and last night eva was the officiant at a wedding and (re?)married larry and i, ending in an uncharacteristic couple-plus-tiny-officiant hug. (even more unorthodox, the officiant was clad only in mardi gras beads and brightly striped rain boots.)
i do love her imagination, and i like getting a glimpse into what she's thinking about via play. perhaps the only drawback is that it makes me wonder why we own all of these toys... or any toys. she honestly could care less about them. ah, to simplify! it's on the agenda, as soon as i have a bit more energy...
speaking of that (and the other hints), the slightly old news is that i'm pregnant (12 weeks today). i can only think of a few people who i haven't spoken to in person, and i'm not sure they really read this anyway. i wrote a few posts about it along the way but didn't publish them until now. they can be found (oldest to newest) here, here, and here (or just scroll down). i'm hoping to start feeling better soon, and am excited about my first midwife appointment tomorrow. i've been explaining to eva that we'll hear panowah's heartbeat. however, that's a hard sell to a two-year-old who has no concept of the circulatory system to begin with. (i just mentioned the midwife appointment again, and now she's running around playing midwife. of course.)