We had a little kiddy pantomime going on this morning, while geekydaddy and I hurriedly tidied the house for our house cleaners. Past disasters mean that we have quite the routine; hide coffee ground filled cafetiere, since past attempts of theirs to clean it have resulted in breakage or lost bits, ditto any expensive wineglasses. Empty dishwasher, otherwise come home to find mixture of clean and dirty things in it, and take down recycling, trash and composting, otherwise come home to find it in all the wrong bins (despite clear instructions on trashcan lids in Spanish, English and several other languages). The effort is worth it for the lovely clean house to come home to once every two weeks.
Putting away toys always inspires the kids to dig through the toy bins and find things they suddenly want to play with. Geekygirl found her toy dog leashes (yes I know, not the safest toy, visions of hog tied, strangulated children come to mind, but since she was always playing with the actual dogs leash, I ended up buying a couple, and a stuffed dog to put them on, for play).
Geekygirl is a garrulous child of great imagination. Wandering the house, she chattered away to her imaginary big sister Leah, her baby doll in its carrier and her imaginary dog Budu, represented by the empty blue leash she was trailing around with her. Budu, she described in great detail to me as "not too big and not too small, brown and fluffy and if you step on him he will bite you, but not hard"
Geekybaby had picked up the other leash and was also trailing it around with him as he followed his sister, chattering away in baby nonsense.
I got to wondering, "what is he imagining?" does a 15 month old have a rich imaginary life, already? Does he see in his minds eye a dog attached to that leash, or is he just copying the actions of his sister? Was he trying to tell me about his dog with his coos and burbles? He can understand so much, but without much language yet, his inner life is a mystery to us.
No doubt we could probably pop babies into MRI machines and discover what areas of their brains light up, and figure out how rich their daydreams are. Maybe someone already has. Whatever those findings may be, I think that he is already learning to use his imagination, and we are just going to have to wait a bit longer for him to be able to tell us about it.