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Alexander Residence: Imaginary fiends

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Imaginary fiends

There are some parts of childhood that just beg to be honoured in a blog post.  

This week I read Manana Mama's beautiful account of her daughter's imaginary friend Kid, and then viewed Mid 30s Life's rather special gallery of her son's toys and his names for them, including Rock Star Dinosaur. It's prompted me to finish this post I started a while back honouring my daughter's imaginary creature.  He's not as vocal as Charlie and Lola's Soren Laurenson, but he is one of a kind.

Miss L's companion is more of an imaginary fiend than a friend. He is known as 'that rat'. He steals and breaks things while she is asleep. If she is ever ill, then that rat gave her the germs. If she has an unexplained scratch, that rat did it.

Once Miss L told me his story, I love it. That rat is no ordinary rat, he is a robot rat.  This teenage mutant rat has a backstory too.  You see when he was a helpless baby rat, his mother, who Miss L tells me is called Isobel, put bad batteries in him.

It's all been downhill from there for that rat. A life of committing petty crime for his mistress, living on the run and being hunted down by Mr A each night at bedtime.  It's perhaps no wonder, after his neglectful treatment by his own mother, that that rat hates grown ups.  He lives in a hole in Miss L's bedroom and can cover the entrance so it's invisible to parents.

I'm glad my reading this week prompted me to immortalise that rat, in fact I had already forgotten his crazy history.

Does/did your child have an imaginary friend or a toy with special powers?  Do share.

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At 27 July 2011 at 10:57 , Blogger Emma said...

Love the picture of Rat, but as for imaginary friends, hmmm... I am sure you must have seen our recent trip to A&E thanks to my four year olds imaginary friends! They are mostly very funny, but I will be quite pleased when they "leave home"...!!

At 27 July 2011 at 11:02 , Blogger The Rambling Pages said...

What a wonderful friend! i love this story. My Little Man use to have an imaginary friend, he appeared not long after the birth of Mini Man, was called Fred and also had a new baby. However Fred was 46, had pink hair and lived in a cloud castle with his mum. He didn't go to school as he worked (we never found out what he did though). Fred was always around but only as a playmate, he never got blamed, he often ran along at the side of the car to keep us company and shared in the same adventures. I sometimes miss tales of Fred. He was mentioned the other day by Little Man and I commented he hadn't been to visit for a long time. Little Man simply said 'No mum, he stayed at our old house for someone new as I don't need him anymore'. On asking why he had ever needed him the reply was 'Because I wanted someone to share my new baby with, and he had one as well' It kind of broke my heart a little as it just confirmed even at 3 Little Man was aware of his lack of friends. I am going to keep checking back to see if anyone else shares their imaginary house guests.

At 27 July 2011 at 11:19 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Emma, yes I do! Wasn't that the marble up the nose episode? There is definitely a dark side to them too.
Rambling pages - What a wonderful tale, but of course you are right to point out the social function. 3 year olds are incredibly clever, what an emotionally intelligent boy you have. Now I reflect I think that rat appeared around the time my mum died, when we used a lot of metaphors to do with toys and batteries running out. Perhaps it is all tied in, and perhaps that's why he appears less often nowadays. you've helped me to reflect on his function, thanks :)

At 27 July 2011 at 13:19 , Anonymous Midlife singlemum said...

Lovely post and very interesting comments. Pays to not be the first to read a post as you get to read all the comments which, in this case, are almost an extension of the post. Like Like reading the final chapter. Love it!

At 27 July 2011 at 13:47 , Blogger This Mid 30s Life said...

What a fantastic story!! Don't you just love their imaginations??

When Dad was young, he had an imaginary friend called Ian (he named it after himself). Then one day my grandmother asked where Ian is, and Dad said "He's dead." And that was the end of that!

It pains me to say our son had an imaginary friend for a while, but I can't remember his name. I hope it comes back to me.

Did you ever see the movie Drop Dead Fred? One of my faves!

Thanks for the mention by the way. xx

At 27 July 2011 at 21:01 , Blogger Rachel Faith said...

Wonderful stuff, I so glad you carried out your threat and wrote up the story of That Rat!

I reckon everybody needs a scapegoat for a sidekick once in a while. To that end, I may adopt That Rat next time I tip something over or elbow somebody on the tube.

What a wonderful imagination yoru little'n has.

At 28 July 2011 at 23:07 , Blogger Kate said...

I think you've just found your second story. Get a move on and get The Moon one published - That Rat needs some air time!

At 31 July 2011 at 19:24 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

MLSM - I know just what you mean about the story in the comments, love it when that happens.
Mid 30s - love that story. Hope you remember your son's friend!
Rachel - scapegoat, sidekick = spot on! I might take him on too ;)
Kate - now that is a great idea, thanks for the nudge!


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