Yesterday Natalie asked me to play "stuffed animals" with her. And, I admit I was a little unprepared for the rules of the game. She and I are so different. When I was her age, I was interested in crafts, coloring and any and all board games -- Candyland, Checkers and Connect Four were favorites. Natalie, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with any of those things. Sure, I had Barbies, too...but I wasn't the type of kid to launch into any sort of real imaginative play with my dolls. I was more interested in doing their hair and dressing them up for a big Barbie & Ken wedding. So, when I went to reach for one of her bears she shrieked, "Mom! they must be in family order."
Which led to this convo in which Natalie explains the "rules" to me:
Natalie: "Mom, they need to be in family order so they can have a happy ending."
Me: "But you put Twinkle (the purple racoon-like critter) with the dogs. How come?"
Natalie: "Because she has no mom, but needs somebody."
Me: "Why did you throw polar bear on the floor and not put him with the other bears?
Natalie: "Because he has no wife and so he can't be in the circle."
Me: "What other rules are there for playing stuffed animals?
Natalie: "Mrs. Cat and Mr. Ladybug go with the cats because she's big and he's big so they go together. And, Gigi Giraffe and Sparkles the Horse go together because they are both kinda horses."
Me: "Who is your favorite?"
Natalie: "Mr. & Mrs. Bear and sister bear and baby bear."
Natalie: "Because they are family."
So, while Natalie and I are very different, it seems she shares my sentiment for what is most important in life.
I can live with that.