Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Child's Play

"Let's pretend..."

Actually, I don't think I've ever heard my granddaughters use that phrase; they're much more direct: they say, "I'll be the mommy" or "I'll be the baby".

Because they're not pretending, they're being.

But only briefly. The thing is to be "mommy", to feel oneself in that role- not to stay in it and be tied down to doing mommyish things- because that would soon become boring.

Their games are free form. A situation is imagined, briefly inhabited, then another takes its place. There's very little narrative. Time hardly exists. Their play is a kind of dreaming- disjointed, fragmented, but intensely felt. Things matter terribly and then, just like that, cease to matter because something else has come along.

Sometimes they are happy to imagine the same thing, sometimes their wills diverge- and then they bicker- but the bickering soon dies down. Adult intervention is rarely required.

This morning they were playing with the doll's house. They asked me to join in, but once they got deep into the play I was no longer needed. Some dogs (pottery ornaments) were introduced. I suggested a visit to the pet shop. This lasted for a minute or so- then morphed into constructing a living space for the dogs, using the doll's house furniture. Creating environments consumes more time and is more absorbing than doing things with the environment once it's been set up.

There's no morality. You don't need morality when there's no narrative. Things happen in a void- with no cause and no consequence. Granny and Grandpa doll come to visit their family but there's no place for them in the current game so they're pronounced dead on arrival, trampled under foot by their offspring- and cast aside. Later the boy doll is thrown across the patio because why not? No-one is really hurt. No-one really dies...

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • Names For A New Age

    As I write Petra Kitova is playing a Frenchwoman called Oceane Dodin. What a beautiful name that is: Oceane. I love it how names taken from…

  • Weird

    Wimbledon didn't happen, but the French Open is just getting started- several months behind time- under grey skies, with the seats mostly…

  • Grot

    It blew hard all night. I don't know if it kept me awake, but, whether the wind was to blame or not, I did seem to be awake rather a lot. One…

  • Not Gold But Something Better

    Last night's wind blew newspaper out of the recycling bin (which the binmen haven't emptied this week; I wonder why) and deposited it in…

  • Trying To Be Nice About It

    It's raining off and on, it's windy, the temperature has dropped- and the sun- when we get to see it- seems suddenly to be hanging much…

  • Guard Me, Walk With Me

    Yesterday we were stuffing up interior rat holes and tomorrow Jim is coming to stop up any exterior ones he may come across and also clean the…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.