Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bats and Other Imaginary Creatures

Lucia, when I went into her room after she woke up from her nap today: “A bat was in my nursery. It scared me while I was sleeping.”

There was no bat. But all the vestiges of Halloween—bats, ghosts, witches, pumpkins, and monsters—have become regular characters in Lucia’s world lately. When we make a house with a blanket draped over her crib, ghosts and witches regularly come to visit, usually bearing a gift of “new markers.” Bats fly all around her nursery and the rest of the apartment. “I see a bat!” she’ll exclaim at random times. She’ll dramatically whip her head from side to side, as though following a bat as it swoops wildly around the room. Much of this is just her leftover—and lingering—interest in all the Halloween decorations she saw in October. Some comes from books we read, and some comes from the Olivia episodes she’s most fond of. The pure, scary ghost sightings are a thing of the past. Now she’s as likely to say “There’s a ghost coming through the window!” or “I see a witch!” as she is to say “Ian [Olivia’s brother] dressed up like a ghost!”

In any case, her imagination is, safe to say, robust. She spent a good bit of time this evening making me some soup in her ghost bucket and stirring it with long sticks she’d brought in from outside. She’d offer me the soup then snatch it back. “Let me stir it for you,” she’d say. “It’s too hot. We have to wait.”

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