I totally encourage Baby Girl to play and use her imagination. However, I do still instill boundaries, because what is not acceptable when she is Baby Girl, still applies when she is a Tiger!
Baby Girl had decided she was a Tiger all morning this morning, she was roaring at Stuffed Animal Tigers, and carrying one around like her baby Tiger. I love watching her use her imagination and not only play creatively but also quite independently.
When lunch time came around, I asked “Baby Girl Tiger” to clean up the toys and wash her hands for lunch. She did everything I asked, nicely, roared at herself in the bathroom mirror after she washed her hands, and then settled up at the table to eat.
I served her lunch of Macaroni and Cheese and took residence beside her to eat mine. I was just lifting the fork to my mouth when I heard this terrible loud, smacking noise coming from my Baby Girl. I looked over and there she was, Macaroni and Cheese hanging out of her mouth, chunks flying everywhere and her making a terrible chewing sound while also managing to chew what was staying in her mouth… with her mouth OPEN.
“Baby Girl,” I said. “We do not eat that way, you know better, that’s rude.”
Baby Girl looked at me Surprised: “But Mommy!” She exclaimed. “I am a Tiger and that’s how Tigers eat.”
I LOVE that she was using her imagination, but I just HAD to nip this in the bud now. She’s a smart girl and she will realize that if I allow her to do certain things, I wouldn’t otherwise allow, when she is being a “Tiger” or an “Elephant” or whatever she may want to be, she will start extending that to other activities and use it as an excuse to behave poorly, or get what she wants. Being a Tiger is not an excuse to be rude. I mean, Tigers probably don’t use a toilet to take a crap either…. so…..
I very gently explained to her, that even if she was a Tiger she had to follow the rules.
“BUT MOMMY!” She shouted. “TIGERS DON’T HAVE RULES!”
Oh yes they do, if they are in this house, they have rules!
I explained to her that if there was a real Tiger that lived in this house, that Tiger would ultimately have rules and would have to follow the same ones that she does. I also explained that Mommy loves it when she plays and as long as she’s not being rude or hurting anyone etc, that she can play and have fun! That seemed to appease her for the time being and she went on to finish eating in the polite, nice way, I am used to.
We will see what happens the next time she decides to be an Animal! She has a very awesome imagination when it comes to things like that, I think she gets it from her Father because he pretends to live in a barn quite often.