Use your imagination

To Katie, I am a princess and the Cashway Distributors building is a castle.

To Katie, no schedule is set in stone and "hurry" is only conceptual.

Katie thinks cats have the friendly personalities of dogs and that dogs should go far, far away.

She's got no idea that she inherited my tone deafness and her father's rhythm. She's under the impression that her self inflicted haircut is cool.

Those in customer-service related industries learn one mantra -- "perception is reality."

Parenthood incites belief in the same mantra. What their children think is true becomes truth.

There's a monster under the bed? You know there's no such thing, but you do one of three things anyway: You check under the bed, you make a deal with monster and give him he address of the mean kid at preschool or you let your child climb in bed with you and prepare to spend a sleepless night dodging kicks.

Katie put me in charge of the "baby."

She handed me a wadded up blanket, which she left with a kiss and a pat and instructions to "take care of him, Mom."

I picked up her baby, put him against my shoulder and patted his back.

I fell into her reality so subconsciously that 30 minutes later, I still was rocking back and forth absently comforting a blanket.

I was embarrassed.

Katie was grateful for my dedication -- I wasn't sure whether to the job or her fantasy.

Parents fall into a lot of alternative realities.

Part of it can be called encouraging a healthy imagination.

The problem comes when you inadvertently buy into it.

I treat Katie's stuffed dog "Ruffie" as if he's real. I pet him as I walk by and talk to him at bedtime.

Of course, I usually forget to feed the fish, which is real, but that's a different story.

I think adults buy into fantasy willingly. Past a certain age, believing in fairies and magic dust puts you in a "needs medication" category.

There aren't many opportunities to escape reality. Sometimes its fun to wrap a blanket around your shoulders and be a hero. It's nice to wrap a blanket toga style and be the princess. There's humor in wrapping a blanket around your waist and going to the ball.

I'm learning why children get so attached to a blanket. It's very versatile.

Katie and I will have some arguments about her perception of reality -- I'm still the boss, no matter what she wants to think.

But, I'm OK with her thinking I'm a princess and that I've got a few magic powers.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext, 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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