Kids take their pretend play seriously…i mean, we may think it is cute, it is just a form of play or the kids being silly…but that is certainly not what it means to them. For them it is a parallel world, a world that allows them to learn in a safe way, to practice what they have seen and done, a world in which they can experiment, negotiate and work on their own terms.
I’ll tell you why i am saying this…just last weekend, when we were at my mom’s place, the boys got busy with their ‘pretend play’. Sid came into the balcony where mom and I were sitting and asked his ‘ajji’ (grandma) if she would like some tea. When she said yes, he went out for a few minutes and returned with an imaginary tray carrying imaginary tea cups. “it’s hot” he warned her. “blow on it phooooo”. Ajji obliged. Nish came there and said he also wanted tea. “It is only for Ajji” replied Sid. “I want tea!” said Nish sounding offended and a little insistent. “NO!” was the reply. He tried to grab a pretend cup off the imaginary tray and Sid screamed and started running off with Nish in hot pursuit. We could hear them arguing and then Sid ended up back in the balcony. Nish arrived a few seconds later and quickly grabbed an imaginary cup from Sid and remebering to blow a quick “phooooo” he started gulping imaginary sips with a sense of urgency. Sid shrieked and grabbed it back. Nish looked at me with his chin quivering and lower lip trembling for a few seconds before bursting into tears. “he is not giving me any tea!!!”
I had to keep a straight face as i wiped away his tears and fortunately in a bit the ‘tea’ for forgotten for some other random fight.