Wanda knows that some things are real and some things are fake and some things are a little bit of both, like my “homemade” broccoli chicken bake, for example, or stuffed animals.
She talks a lot about her stuffed animals and their wants, needs, desires and personalities. Sometimes they argue with her and she vents her frustrations right back. But heaven help me if I try to get in on the fun.
Wanda: My animals LOVE this food.
Me: They love it? That’s nice.
Wanda (dropping her head into the palms of her hands): Mo-om! They’re just stuffed animals. They can’t really eat. They’re just bre-TEN-ding!
Me: So. They’re not alive? They’re just pretending to be alive.
People will see her at the grocery store dressed up like Spiderman or a princess.
Nice grocery store clerk: OOooo. We have a princess in the store today!
Wanda (raising one eyebrow and looking at her suspiciously): This. Is. A. COS-TUME. I’m Wanda Thompson. I’m just a girl!
At night, she sleeps with her “bretend” stuffed animals who can’t enjoy culinary delights because they are just real enough to play pretend but just fake enough to not be real. She also shares a room with Laylee.
One night last week Laylee had to stay up for some reason and Wanda went to bed alone.
Wanda: But I can’t go to bed now because I’ll be ALOOOONE!
Me: That’s okay. You can take Muno and Kangie with you.
She shakes her head mournfully, her eyes close to tears.
Wanda: No, mom. They’ll be alone too.
Me: So you’ll all be alone together?
Sad head nod.
Maybe the stuffed animals are suffering from some sort of fake depression, feeling all alone in a crowded bedroom. It would be a hard life for them, you know, if they were real. Which they are not. Duh?! I bet you believe 4-year-old girls are Spiderman, too.