Right now, the movie “Tangled”--Disney’s version of the fairy tale Rapunzel--is played almost daily at our house.
As Baby Chickadee has recently reached her developmental milestone of creating imaginary friends, on two different occasions Baby Chickadee (who sometimes refers to herself as “Punzel!” and therefore needs a BFF chameleon, just like in the movie) has proudly shown us her imaginary friend Baby Wih-zard. Which is “Baby Lizard” for those of us who can pronounce our L’s.
Wednesday night the five of us went to the Y. Or more accurately: I drove the four of them to the Y so that I could drop them off and buy shoes without distraction. But the point is that the five of us were in the car together. And because Baby Chickadee sadly left her movie of Rapunzel and the chameleon to join us on our journey, Baby Lizard came with us in the vehicle. G and Little Missy good-naturedly let him hop to and from their shoulders before Baby Lizard hopped out of Hubby’s gym bag. Baby Chickadee basked in the glow of our pretend-playing with her pretend friend.
Once home after the Y she carried Baby Lizard from room to room and had us gently pet him. Then she popped him in her mouth and grinned with puffy cheeks full of her imaginary friend. “I ate my Baby Wih-zard!” she exclaimed. Head, tail, legs and all.
G and I were the only ones in the kitchen with her at the time. Shocked, we looked at each other and then back at the grinning toddler standing before us. Giggling, G shouted with surprise, “Baby Chickadee, you ate your baby lizard!” To which she grinned and nodded, still with puffy cheeks that housed an innocent--albeit imaginary--soul.
Little Missy ran in from the bathroom and Hubby walked in from the living room because of our slightly raised voices. “What did Baby Chickadee do?”
Not wanting to scold her but definitely a little worried over my daughter’s glee at swallowing whole her friend that she’d so gingerly carried around moments before, I pointed at her and squeaked out, “She ate her baby lizard!” To which Baby Chickadee still smiled with puffy cheeks.
I kept thinking she’d spit out the poor guy with flourish, making some ghastly vomiting noise to go with it. But no, that poor Baby Lizard was gone, as evidenced by the gulping sound she soon made. The only words that came out of my mouth were “Poor Baby Lizard!” And I think Hubby threw in something like, “Oh, Baby Chickadee, let’s don’t eat baby lizards!”
Page 2 of 2 - Later, a new Baby Lizard appeared, and I know it was a new one because I asked, “Oh, is this a new Baby Lizard?” To which she grinned and eventually popped that one in her mouth as well. I did not respond with such dramatics the second time around. I don’t want to encourage the girl.
BUT, so far, she’s only swallowed two of her imaginary friends. Here’s hoping that craziness is out of her system.
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette . Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,augustagazette.com.