Thursday, April 26, 2012

Imagination Station Part 1: Prologue and Guest Post!

When you have a legitimate Mommy blog like Merelymothers, you are required to adhere to things like "standards" and "word counts;" things that are Greek to me. So when one of my oldest, and dearest friends, Sarahlynne, approached me to guest post on the Merelymothers blog, my first response was all "aitch-ee-double hockey sticks" yeah! And then I panicked because the pressure was on to properly build something of strong foundation on the blog's real estate. Well, and then I had a bout of verbal diarrhea.

The blog is an amazing collection of 3 women's voices (and a guest post here and there), and I needed to do it justice.

I decided to let something naturally materialize as I do with my own blog, which could only mean it would happen on my morning commute right after the Riverside exit. You know, when most of my brilliant posts get created.

I spent that day's lunch break letting my fingers type away at the computer, and I also calculated a rate per follower I would pay Sarahlynne for everyone who unsubscribed from her site after I posted.

I had a thesis sized draft of a recent experience with Miles pretending to shoot me with a bubble wand. Eric's response to my piece was "Wow. That's not your authentic voice." And then he proceeded to poke holes in my story, which will only be revealed in part 2 of this series.

See that? It's another hook! I've trapped you in with a compelling post title, I'm about to give you a prologue that is going to force you to click to another (far more refined) site and read the juicy part...and then encourage you to come back to read part 2 AND part 3. Hey, all this blog hopping is functional fitness! You can add it to your 30 minutes of physical activity quota you should be hitting...I do. Or you can ignore it all like I'm sure many do, and I'll just do this exercise for the 1.5 religious followers of my blog (hi mom!).

So here is the prologue to the whole debacle:

One aspect of toddler-hood that provided me with a healthy respite from those ever increasing “trying” moments when I furiously searched for the receipt from my uterus to see if there was a return policy was the materialization of toddler imagination. One day back in 2009, I stumbled upon my nascent toddler, Miles, jammed into the bottom utensil drawer in the kitchen and thought, “Whoa; did he just make a cell phone call with the melon baller?”

·         Alphabet blocks became runners in a race

·         Patches of the floor morphed into shark infested waters

·         Potty seats were fashioned into astronaut helmets

·         And yes, “Mommy band aids” (ahem) became drumsticks.

(I have video documentation of all of the above, and plan to create one heck of an embarrassing video montage for his rehearsal dinner.)

The transition from little bundle of Moro reflexes for whom I assessed primarily through the color, consistency, quality, and quantity of his poop, to this walking, talking, imagining little person was a milestone for me as a mother. When I started to realize that this little boy had a functioning memory and was processing information in a complex way--I was gobsmacked. Toddler anthropomorphism! I quickly found my fingers typing the words toddler genius into Google. After my husband convinced me not to contact MENSA, I realized that first, I needed to stop using the cell phone so much around our son, and second, my son was not the first toddler to use his imagination.
As a full time working mother, the stage of imaginative play was helpful in that I started to get confirmation of all that he was doing, learning, and experiencing at his school/childcare. When the ball point pen cap was relegated to the “quiet spot” one afternoon, I had an idea of where he might have sat for a spell during the school day.

I remember one time when a barely verbal Miles was walking me in a circle over and over. I had no idea what he was doing until he collapsed to the ground and said “FALL DOWN!” Light bulb! He was playing ring-around-the-rosie, a game I had never played with him before. Extra! Extra! He’s got a memory!

One time Miles took two pieces of paper, put them on his bare feet, and told me he was going “ice skating” around our kitchen. Apparently they had ice skated at school on paper plates. (Who said you can’t enjoy winter sports in Georgia?) He was a boy genius; memory AND imagination!

A few months ago, the school cot sheets were kites.

Last week, sticks became leaf blowers.

I do whatever I can to inspire and encourage this type of creative and resourceful play with both of my boys. It’s also way cheaper than scouring Amazon for a toy leaf blower.

But we hit a new level of imagination the other day that did not lead me to research toddler MENSA. Instead, I confirmed that a 3-year-old is too young to be arrested for weapons possession, but in the unlikely event that he is headed in that direction, brushed up on my legal understanding of bail versus bond.   
Scene: Miles traipses into my room and points his new Easter bubble wand contraption-ma-bob at me and says:

GO TO THIS LINK TO CONTINUE THE STORY!!! (and then follow the blog. You can find them on Facebook, too!)

Part 2, subtitled, "When Eric pokes holes in my story coming to the blog, soon."


  1. Thank you so much for this shout-out!! We were so thrilled that you wrote this for us. It's such a timely topic and a wonderfully written post. I can't tell you how much it means to me that we are still friends after all this time. So many of our early childhood memories are interwoven with each other, and it's so cool that we can now share the joys and challenges of raising boys, even though we don't live on the same street anymore! Thanks, Alison, for this fantastic post.
    - Sarah

  2. I thought it was fantastic, too, Alison. I am a huge fan of your writing, and even though I know I am biased, I am not alone in my assessment. I look forward to Eric's addendum.