Saturday, November 5, 2011

Playing mums and dads

I'm loving listening to constant chatter between The Complicated One and his best friend, K.

“Every time you say Mrs Maker, it makes my tummy go ‘ooh’,” he says.
It's a comment that needs some explaining....
The Complicated One and K met at childcare and hit it off right away. Then she changed days and he was sad. Then her parents bought a house a few doors up from ours, and he was happy again. (K’s business case to her parents to move closer must have been compelling!)

K is a few months younger but just as talkative and, according to her mum, just as complicated. Both were poor sleepers when younger and spent time in kiddie rehab, otherwise known as the excellent Tresillian residential sleep program. 

(TIP: Visit for great parenting advice from those in the know. And don’t be ashamed about booking yourself into kiddie sleep rehab. We should have done it months earlier than we did, and saved ourselves one hundred extra sleepless nights. Sigh.)

We’ve started a new weekly tradition of alternating play dates at each other’s house most Fridays. There is hell to pay for all parents involved if the kids miss a week.

Their favourite game is playing mums and dads. Of course it involves lots of talking, plus role play. They go to work, on holidays, to the shops – all the things they see their parents doing.

There’s bound to be some hidden secret children’s business that us grown-ups don’t know about. There are probably many academic theses on the subject of children’s secret codes of behaviour.

Perhaps it’s better if we parents don’t know everything. It will be bad enough when they’re teenagers, so I figure the least I can do is let them have a (relatively) free rein now.

But that doesn't stop me from occasionally overhearing a few of their conversations..... 

Playing mums and dads:

“We share a bedroom but we’re in separate beds.”

“No we’re not.”

“But that way we can share secrets.”


While on the swing set in the backyard:

“We’re on the aeroplane,” says K.

“Where are you going?” I ask.

“England,” says K.

“Actually to Asia,” says The Complicated One.

“Actually we’re going to North America,” he adds after a pause.

You can tell who recently got a world map jigsaw puzzle.

Mid-conversation and seemingly out of context:

“You don’t even have a craft section at your house,” declares The Complicated One.

K seems not to care, but he would be devastated without his six drawers stuffed with craft supplies and bulging boxes of end product.

Chanelling the Mr Maker TV show about children’s craft on ABC2:

“Pretend I’m Mrs Maker and you’re Mr Maker”.


“Mr Maker is a boy,” says K helpfully.

“Yes. And Mrs Maker is a girl,” replies The Complicated One.

“What are you doing now?”

“I’m making a present for you, Mrs Maker.”

“No, you don’t make something for me and I don’t make something for you – we make something for kids,” clarifies K.

“Every time you say Mrs Maker, it makes my tummy go ‘ooh’,” says Mr Maker.

Sounds like a good time to give them some privacy!

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