Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Childhood - pretend play

When I was a kid, I must have watched just about every John Wayne movie ever made a thousand times. My dad is a mega fan of these movies and watching them with him made up the majority of our "quality time".

My summers were spent playing with my friends on a nearby field, recreating battles with Indians, storming Iwo Jima and having bar-room brawls. Bikes became horses and we would scream like Indians as we hurtled across the grass. No wonder the people who lived nearby hated us!

My oldest daughter suffered from Dyspraxia, a condition related to the development of the brain. This had a range of effects on her, the most obvious being poor motor skills - which she was able to largely overcome through her grim determination to do things.

Another effect was that she was unable to "pretend". I first realised this when we bought her one of these cars. I was pushing her around the house (her motor skills meant that she could not work out how to scoot it herself) and started saying things like "Here we go, into town, under the bridge". She looked at me and told me not to be so silly. We were not in the town, we were at home!

My oldest son has always been a whizz on computers. He learnt to use a Mouse before his first birthday...

For a long time his favourite game was Lemmings, which he was very good at by the age of around 3.

He became so obsessed with the game that he started pretending to be a Lemming when we were out - he would walk like one, build steps, bash through invisible walls and pretend to explode.

My youngest daughter loved watching The Land Before Time. Her favourite character was Sarah the Triceratops.

At the age of around 2 she used to crawl around pretending to be Sarah, head-butting anything that got in the way.

From an early age my youngest loved guns. At this point we did not have any toy guns in the house, so everything became a gun - sticks, Lego, you name it. So I bought him a toy AK47. Well if he is going to have a gun it might as well be a good one!

What did you pretend to be when you were a child?


kenady said...

I love that you share your children's favorite pretend play, as well as your own.

I grew up in the age of Star Wars so we always pretended to be the heroes and heroines of those movies. I, of course, was always Princess Leia:) I think I may have even dressed up as Leia for Halloween when I was 5. Every stick was a light saber and there were many battles and wars fought. It was a lot of fun:)

My daughter and son love to pretend that they are animals... some days they are kitties and some days they are puppies. They are so adorable to watch. Have you ever tried to have a conversation in kitty language? It's quite difficult to tell them to clean up their room or wash up for supper:)

Jen said...

That my bike was a horse! I also rocked at kickball - though that's not pretend. . . I always pretended I was an animal of some sorts too. The cartoon, Tarzan - Lord of the Jungle was huge back then and I'd pretend I was Jane AND Tarzan as well as any of the animals.

Great post!

mr zig said...

great post - makes me wonder what kinda things my daughter will like... (right now she likes banging her toys against things... but then again shes only 7 months old) -

mindy said...

Let me preface this by saying what a nerd I am.

I used to pretend that I ran an adoption agency. Yes, an adoption agency. Between my 3 sisters and me we had 11 cabbage patch dolls, and they were all "orphans" you see, and they needed nice families to adopt them. So I would create all the fake paperwork and then write up bios about the orphans, and OMIGOD I WAS A NERD.

So yeah. Adoption agency. What does this say about me?

Ali said...

When I was really little I used to watch these videos called "The Adventures of Penelope Pitstop" - I don't know if anyone else has even heard of this chick, but I loved those videos.
It was a cartoon, and she was this super sex kitten that would solve crimes and kick ass, and that always had this car of dwarf size male mobsters following her to get her out of trouble.
I pretended to be her on a regular basis.
And now as I'm thinking about that...I'm realizing that those videos may have had more of an effect on me that I realized...

Rock Chef said...

Kenady - I can't speak Kitty, but I am fluent in Doggy.

Jen - I can see it now. You really are mad aren't you? :-)

Zig - Oh you have great times ahead!

Mindy - That is fantastic! I says that you are too caring for your own good!

Ali - HAYULP! Of course an old guy like me remembers her from Whacky Races with Dick Dastardly and his dog Mutley.

Terri said...

When we played outside, we played cowboys and indians and cops and robbers with the entire neighborhood. Inside, my siblings and I would play house, or school or strangely enough, we would pretend that some of us were dogs and one of us was the owner!

Logziella said...

Oh the usual...I would spend hours daydreaming about how I wished I could be pregnant and have a baby b/c then I knew there would be someone who loved me...I was only 7years old!

Don't ask...I had a CRAZY childhood! LOL!!

Kiki said...

I am so glad that you shared your children's stories, they were so sweet!!!!
I always played I was a mommy. That was really my only pretend. I was more active than quiet so I would ride bikes, climb trees and garden with my dad.

Rachael Rae Diaries said...

I agree with everyone that it is so great that you shared your childrens pretend play!

When I was a kid I was always big into building tents and forts. I loved to have a "secret place". I loved rainbow brite and Holly Hobbie. I never minded getting scrapes or bruises and loved to do things like climb trees and play in the creek behind our house. I was the only child for 9 years so I had an excellent imagination!

You made me think of a story I am going to write so come check it out!

Rock Chef said...

Terri - I bet you were the owner, weren't you?

Logzie - That is so sad, but you got your dream in the end!

Kiki - Here's to you being a mommy for real some time soon!

Rachael - 9 years as an only child? Wow. How did you react to the new arrival?

Kiki said...

Aw Rock Chef, you are so kind, everytime I stop by your blog I am reminded of how sweet you are and what a wonderful husband, father and friend you must be!!! Thanks for always encouraging me!!!

amazingbrenda said...

As a kid we used to make a house tent with chairs & bed sheets. We played house & my name was always Linda, because Linda in spanish means beautiful.

We always played outside, rode our bikes, climbed trees, roller skated, played hide & go seek & tag. We didn't have many toys since we were poor, but I do remember always going to a park that had a small zoo.

Tanks for sharing your memories.