Saturday I planted in my little garden area beside our walk. While I did so, I listened in on the conversation/imaginative play of my daughter and a neighbor girl. They were really getting some great riffs going-creating this complex imaginative world around themselves... building off of each other as they went. It sounded a little like this...
L: "an' how 'bout we were princesses and this was our castle.."
H: "an' how 'bout we were three an' our mommy said it was supper time"
L: "an' how 'bout we went to bed an' these are our bunkbeds:
Insert three miliseconds of fake snoring....
H: "an' how 'bout we woke up and we turned into sixteen"
L: "Oh! We're sixteen now!"
*fake laughter and squeals*
Please note that the whole exchange occurs in 30 seconds or less when they're really in the zone. It's like this rapid fire blast of chatter back and forth as they play. "an' how 'bout" is the magic phrase that conjures up amazing images and worlds.
It was enlightening to hear this exchange, because when the rare moment occurs that I am roped into this sort of play, I find it incredibly annoying that she keeps throwing these parameters on me right and left before I even have much of a chance to assimilate and begin imagining the LAST "rule" she threw at me. I end up annoyed that she's being such a little dictator and forcing me in one direction or another with the play.
The difference of course, is age. I view these statements as "rules" that must be followed, and I require time to begin imagining and then existing in the world that has been created with each statement. Lizzie, on the other hand, sees them as simple guideposts for story creation. She expects that I will take a more proactive role in creating alongside her as we play, and when I don't, she steps up to fill the gap. Each time she states something.. the world has been fleshed out a bit more.
My poor feeble brain just doesn't imagine as quickly as hers does. I must be SO boring! ...but I remember when I used to utter the magic phrase "an' how 'bout" too.