Monday, November 26, 2007

An id called Ally

It occurred to me today that Ally (of imaginary friend duo Puff and Ally) is sort of like Will’s id. They are both boys exactly the same age, and of late, Ally has become the kid that does the things that Will’s learning not to do – or that he at least knows he shouldn’t do:

Last night, for example, Will shouted out, “Ally just sprayed the wall!” Will, who’d gotten his hands on a spray bottle in the bathroom, showed us a spot on the bathroom wall, where Ally had done the misdeed. It looked dry enough, so maybe it really was just invisible Ally spraying his invisible spray – but it was hard to imagine that Will hadn’t been tempted to do a quick authentic spray himself.

Often there’s no denying that Will’s crossed the line, and as we embark on a conversation about why he needs to avoid repeating action X in the future (“patting” Owen with a bit too much vigor, for example) he’ll try to divert the conversation to Ally, who inevitably has committed a similar and often slightly worse crime. “Yeah, but Ally is always hitting people,” he’ll say, shaking his head in disapproval.

And sometimes Will likes to point out how he has advanced a bit beyond Ally. We’ve been teaching Will to recognize the 5, 6 and 7 on the left hand side of his alarm clock (He’s mastered 5 is an S; 6 looks like a G and he’s working on 7 as an upside down L – and for a week now he’s celebrated the fact that he got up on the 6 or 7 – “Yeah, but we don’t get up at 5,” he says with a smile.) Today when he got up at 7:05, he marched into our room and started discussing the fact that: “Ally keeps getting up at 5. I keep telling him not to but he just eats his oatmeal.”

Poor Ally. He can’t do anything right.

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