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"Imaginative pay" in 2/5 YO getting out of hand, first time mums needs advice...

(20 Posts)
CrushWithEyeliner Tue 07-Jul-09 14:01:48

DD is 2.5 and has always been very quick to pick things up, early milestones, easy potty training, talking that kind of thing. She is a nervous little might though, and very shy of new experiences and people, it takes her so long to warm up and relax and she gets easily freaked so I have always felt she is highly sensitive. This belies her intelligence which is frustrating.

She is really into certain programmes like Thomas and I let her watch them as they are quite short and, well she is really into them and they seem to bring her a lot of joy. The thing is she is starting to pretend she is the characters -the trains-, she is getting a but TOO obsessed by them - she makes us "talk" to her as the other characters and it is all one big fantasy play which can last hours. I am getting to the point when I am saying to her 'no XX I am Mummy and you are X come on stop pretending". Her vocabulary when describing all the stories is incredible but she gets so overwhelmed by it all. Is this normal?

I am worried that this is not quite right and that she is going into her own world and also that she is maybe too sensitive to watch TV or that she is watching too much. It is a bit weird, can anyone shed any light for me?

Sorry that was so long but it was hard to explain smile.

jkklpu Tue 07-Jul-09 14:04:56

Don't worry about this, it's a developmental stage. My son spent ages being Thomas and we all took turnd to be different engines with amazing logical consistency. That was from about 2, I guess. He's now more than 3.5 and is moving on from a Fireman Sam obsession in which, again, the rest of the family all had roles. Although we no longer get shouted at if we don't call him Sam, he still calls his Dad Elvis 9 times out of 10 and we've just got used to it. So I'm sure your dd will grow out of it/move on to something else. In the meantime, maybe try to put down some ground rules: we ended up with ds1 being Sam from getting up time until lunch and there was a window in which he was himself between lunch and tea.

Good luck.

Littlefish Tue 07-Jul-09 14:07:47

I had to be all of the brothers from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", closely followed by Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Mr Smee, Nana and all the lost boys!

Ours has been going on for about 2 years now. I was talking to dd's nursery yesterday and they said that role play has been her way of working out relationships and feelings. They think it's been a really important stage for her so they have just let her carry on until she came out of the stage by herself.

She has reduced herself to tears many times, and also scared herself with the intensity of her play!

Only 2 years to go then Crush!

CMOTdibbler Tue 07-Jul-09 14:10:26

Sounds normal to me.

DS likes to be a baby bird, but currently he 'has babies in his tummy'. We have to talk about them a lot, how he will feed them, and how they will be in the baby room at nursery

Oh, and we spent about 3 months being the White Helmets motorcycle display team which was trying..

squeaver Tue 07-Jul-09 14:11:20

Seriously, don't worry about it.

Your dd is creative and intelligent. She will probably have imaginary friends too in years to come (that's when it gets really weird).

Don't worry that she's watching too much TV. She's not.

Gently encourage any real-life friendships that you can and maybe vary the TV diet a little (for your sake as much as hers - I HATE Thomas).

Pyrocanthus Tue 07-Jul-09 14:50:03

Being shy and sensitive doesn't belie her intelligence. She sounds absolutely gorgeous - I don't want to indulge in psychobabble, but perhaps being a sturdy and adventurous little train rather than a shy little girl helps her to explore different situations in her mind.

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 07-Jul-09 15:19:54

YOu are all so helpful thank you, I will no longer worry and indulge in being Gordon for her grin

I love your theory Pyro, it does seem to bring her out of herself so maybe it is important for her developing after all. I do wish she would be more confident in company though, hopefully that will come in time.....

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 07-Jul-09 15:21:51

pmsl at littlefish "seven brides"

NanaJo Tue 07-Jul-09 15:40:18

I once spent an entire 2 week holiday as a child (age 10) 'being' Anne of Green Gables. I wouldn't answer anyone who didn't call me Anne ... spoke, looked, acted like Anne the entire time. There is a photo of me dressed in one of my Anne type outfits drinking tea from a china teacup after having decorated the table with flowers and leaves. This must have driven my parents mad at the time but they speak of it fondly now.

Your daughter will outgrow this stage. My Ds2 (3.2) is similarly Thomas obsessed.

Littlefish Tue 07-Jul-09 17:08:58

Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephrahim, Frank (short for Frankincense) and Gideon.

<takes a bow>

Her other favourite is to be Katie Brown from Calamity Jane. I, obviously, have to be Calamity Jane and fall over a lot, rip my dress and say "Darn" grin

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 07-Jul-09 17:45:30


My situation so could be worse, I am glad to be bloody Gordon now!

Littlefish Tue 07-Jul-09 18:59:11

Is Gordon the boring one?

piscesmoon Tue 07-Jul-09 19:09:22

I wouldn't worry-just a phase!

Horton Tue 07-Jul-09 19:33:43

My DD is 2.9 and we're still going through this. It has lasted for months. I have to be Bagheera, Wallace (as in Gromit), Swiper, Mummy Jaguar (from Diego), the dancing tiger and many others at a moment's notice and remember to refer to her as the right name. I have started a spreadsheet because I can't remember them all. A low point was a supermarket shop where we had to converse in the personas of Frank and Buster from Koala brothers for nearly an hour. And I think people thought I was a bit odd calling a little girl Buster and almost certainly couldn't think why my name was Frank.

I spent nearly a year being a white cat called Hussy (I didn't know what it meant) when I was about four. One of my brothers spent months insisting on being called Amanda.

I think it's one of those 'This too shall pass' things.

Scorpette Tue 07-Jul-09 20:02:29

I'm a writer and I've never grown out of this, really! Obviously, I now do it all in my head (honest, guv'nor) to help me with characters and so on and I make myself cry quite often. Sometimes I can't sleep worrying about them! I realise this sounds a bit mad, but it's entirely normal for v creative sorts! And entirely normal for a child of her age - as someone who was exactly the same, please don't decide that she's weird at this age; I had family and others who treated me like I was weird for liking to do this and it really affected my sense of self (still does). Not saying you treat her like she's weird but if she's as sensitive as you say then she might pick up those vibes anyway.

She sounds very bright and sensitive and please bear in mind that, like Pyrocanthus said, acting out characters can be a 'safe' way for shy and sensitive kids to work through things that worry, scare and stress them in real life.

As soon as she can write, I would encourage her to write some stories - you might have a future Man Booker Prize winner on your hands!

My personal obsessions were: The Magic Faraway Tree, the Mallory Towers Series and Little House On The Prairie. I was Laura Ingalls for about 2 years straight at one point (my poor family!). grin

nickytwotimes Tue 07-Jul-09 20:05:15

SOunds normal to me.
It can be a tad tiresome though, as you say! grin

UniS Tue 07-Jul-09 20:29:29

thank goodnes I only have to be " mummy cat " at the momenet. I reguary have to sort a selection of trains out for coal and water, as boy will change which train he is being mid journey, gordon if he wants to run, percy if he wants to be slow etc.
i think its rather sweet that after a term of preschol he still wants to be a train or kitten rather than a power ranger or spiderman.

Horton Tue 07-Jul-09 22:44:43

I would literally kill to only have to get to grips with Mummy Catness. That sounds lovely. Do you just meow and eat fish and drink milk?

Latest development in this house is the wanton invention of new words for things that we already have words for, or things that don't need new words. Mosscatch is a meal that you eat outside, for instance, so er that would be a picnic, yes? And atrobasters are shoes. And a bannick is 'a kind of towel that's very long that stops you falling down the loo' which is certainly something I haven't yet found necessary in 40 years.

CrushWithEyeliner Wed 08-Jul-09 09:21:23

Your posts are v interesting thank you . I will encourage her now!

Prosecco Wed 08-Jul-09 09:39:42

Aaaaaagh! I loathe this stage. My eldest dd changed into character and would only answer to that name. Furthermore, she gave you a script to follow when playing. My ds and I would be happily vroom vrooming cars around the mat when they would start flying and talking and then we would have to turn into flying talking cars. I am SOOOOOOO bad at it, have no imaginationa nd cannot even pretend at enthusiasm. I am such a terrible mum in taht respect but do try to make up for it in other ways, honest. I would go along with it for about 10 minutes before inventing a reason for us to go out/make a meal etc.Leave it to the grandparents I say. grin

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