I sort of dread the day when Will stops making life at home a world of make-believe. He is always role-playing and asking us to join in. He’ll scold me for calling him Will after he’s already told me a couple times that he is Gibby, the dog. We spent most of this past weekend calling each other Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear and Baby Bear in Will’s presence – or else getting scolded because we’d forgetten to use those proper names.
And yesterday Will decided he was a teacher as he sat on a chair reading books to me and Owen in the kitchen. Since I was just a kid now, he chose to call me Annie. (He kept having to tell me to "Pay attention!" as I busied around the kitchen, trying to multi-task but really just being an exceptionally lousy student.)
As teacher, Will called himself “Miss Linda.”
“Miss Linda’s a boy,” he said. And then looked confused. “Or maybe I’m a girl.”
“You could be Mr. William,” I offered (such a boring suggestion). “Boys can be teachers too.” (Granted, there’s no evidence for that fact at Will’s pre-school).
“No,” Will said. “I’m Miss Linda. Miss Linda’s a girl.”
And the lesson went on – interrupted only when ADD Annie had to be told to focus again. Or when Miss Linda stopped reading for a moment to check to see if Annie needed to go to the bathroom. (“There’s one down the hall,” Miss Linda said.)