Thursday, October 4, 2012

An Imaginary Friend

Over the past few days we've had a little, tiny guest in our home.  Here he is:

Isn't he cute?!! :)  Maggie (my 2 year old) is carefully holding him between her finger and thumb.  His name is 'Gumby', inspired (I'm guessing) by the old clay animation show.  And just in case you're wondering, I can't see him either!

Last Saturday morning we were at the shops with my mum, and Maggie started talking about him, and suddenly he was on her shoulder!  Since then he's been a bit of a fixture at our house, especially when Ana (Maggie's little sister) is asleep.  When we're eating breakfast, Maggie carefully puts Gumby down on her high chair tray, and pinches her other little hand to pass him 'an apple' for breakfast.  Gumby loves apples, as far as I can work out, that's all he eats!! No wonder I can't see him! :)  When it's bath time, I hear Maggie telling Gumby "It's time for our bath now Gumby, isn't that exciting?!!", and when it's nap time, she carefully places him on her little pillow, and covers him up with her blankets.  Yesterday it was really hot when she was going down for her nap, and she had her big doona covering her.  I asked her if she was too hot and if she would prefer a lighter blanket, but she whispered to me that Gumby was cold.  On Monday night after Family Home Evening with the girls, James and I were playing a game in the family room, and we could hear Maggie chatting non-stop to little Gumby.  I finally had to go in and warn Maggie and Gumby that if they didn't stop talking and go to sleep, I would have to take Gumby out to sleep somewhere else.  After that there was silence, and they both went straight to sleep.  Sometimes Maggie brings Gumby to me for a little cuddle, or to hold him while she's doing something tricky.  He's really become one of the family.

James is a little worried about Gumby.  He seems to think it's totally weird that Maggie seems to have invented a tiny person/thing(?) to be her friend.  So far he has at least eaten Gumby, and squashed him flat.  Fortunately, Maggie - Gumby's little defender - has no patience with that kind of behaviour, and ordered Daddy with small hands on hips to "Spit Gumby out, right now!" - and Gumby seems not to have suffered too much, except that Daddy made him 'very dirty' so we had to give him a little rinse.  Since then James has received stern warnings about attempting to damage little Gumby.

I on the other hand am kind of delighted with Gumby :)  I'm not crazy either - I know I remember from studying early childhood development that imagination is important, even if I can't be bothered dusting off any textbooks to give it to James in writing.  Albert Einstein himself said, that imagination is more important than knowledge.  How else do you make plans and hopes and dreams, aspire to your goals as you get older?!  You have to be creative.

So tell me, imaginary friends are okay, right?!  Imagination is a big tick in the 'important for development' box, and doesn't need to be curbed, right?!  Your children do this too...?!  ... I'm not crazy.....?!


  1. Lol! I had no idea that you had that kind of thing going on over at your house this week! :0 James tried to eat Gumby!! Oh no!

    It was funny when Maggie introduced Gumby.. She was in the shopping trolley and she and I were chatting about all sorts of things and then she began telling me about Gumby being in her room and doing this and that. I wasn't sure at first if Gumby was imaginary or if he was a toy or figurine she had, but Maggie had a kind of funny little smile when she talked about him, then all of a sudden she was smiling at her shoulder and told me he was sitting there. I said hello, and after that he hung out with us for the next hour. He is a bit of a handful though - he kept hiding and expecting us to find him, to make sure he was safe. I think he was laughing at us.

    Well, I don't know Honey.. The only child of our seven who had kind of an imaginary friend was you - and that was your doll, Jenny. I would come into your bedroom to find all of your other dolls and teddies thrown on the floor. You never did it of course, but you said that it must have been Jenny because she didn't like them on your bed with her. We would often hear you talking to Jenny, especially if you had been hard done by in some way! Jenny seemed to be a very good listener.

    I think it's great that Maggie is so imaginative :) I am a bit worried that James has such violent tendencies! :)

    I hope that Ana doesn't feel left out. And I hope that Gumby behaves himself! :)


  2. That is perhaps the most adorable thing I've ever heard!

  3. Hahahahaha. Maggie was so cute with Gumby! I loved hearing her in the bath chatting to him about how they were getting their hair washed. She kept saying 'It's ok Gumby, I'm here'. Lol.
    She is SUCH a cutie and I full-heartedly support her fascinating imagination! I hope Hallie has an imaginary friend one day. As long as it's a polite friend I think it will be adorable :)

  4. In all my years in childcare I don't remember any of them having an imaginary friend.
    I do remember learning while studying that it is completely normal, as you have mentioned. Just be prepared for her to be absolutly devastated if he ever runs away or disappears. Apparantly, even though she imagines him, he can still disappear on her and never return. I dont get it. But, enjoy him as a child too I guess!!

    1. Hi Cassie! (Not that they told you about anyway :) Maybe James will scare him away.. !