The Elizabeth doctor

The Bing and I have an imaginary friend. She started long ago, when BB was very small. BB would have these odd, looooong tantrums 45-90 minutes. They would begin the usual way, when she was angry about some baby or toddler injustice. But then they morphed and the reason seemed lost. In fact, BB seemed lost. She’d scream, cry and any typical consequence for such rotten behavior seemed ludicrous. Attempting to comfort the lost girl was also no use. Over time, I found two things that were helpful in bringing her back. One was to turn on any her favorite Signing Time DVDs. The music seemed to reach in and pull her out. Another way was to talk about her, but not to her, in front of her. I would talk to one of the cats, quietly and calmly.

Nicky, she’s okay. BB is really mad right now, so she’s crying. But she’s okay and soon she’ll stop crying and talk to us.

But sometimes there wasn’t a cat around, but this way of talking about her being okay, but not directly to her, seemed to help. So, one time I picked up a toy phone and had the same conversation on the phone, just like with Nicky. It worked.

After several times of this, BB would hand me the phone, when she was calm, and I’d talk to our friend, often about BB. I’d talk about our day, about how a BB was doing,… anything really. Sometimes BB would talk on the phone too. One day I asked BB if this person on the phone had a name.


she said


Elizabeth Doctor.

Doctor Elizabeth?

I wondered.

No, Elizabeth Doctor.

And so she is.
We still call her. No more emergency calls over tantrums, these days. I still give updates on BB, but we also check in on her. More often than not, she’s traveling. Recently she was on a long flight, from Australia, I think, but there were no bathrooms on board. Luckily she made it home, though I’m not sure where she lives. She never says and BB is careful not to have her visit. We keep her on the phone. Happily, we keep checking in. I wonder how long this friendship will continue?





We couldn’t resist this cool chess set at my parents’ place. It won’t be long until I’m not a worthy opponent for her.




I didn’t plan to teach her chess, but she insisted. It’s sticking. She’s currently planning strategies for herself and Daddy.  I’m in big trouble.







We just celebrated our Gotcha Day by going to our closest Chinatown for Peking duck and just wandering around. BB loves the annual train ride and Chinese gummy candy. Hubs and I love the duck. We gave BB Connectagons for a GD gift. Hubs has accused me of playing with them more than BB. I do share… Really.

Real or Pretend?

The other day in the car, BB and I were playing a made-up game, as we often do in the car.  I call this one, “Real or Pretend?”  It went something like this:

Me: Dragons… real or pretend?

BB: Pretend.

Me: Yup.  How about Mini Coopers?  Real or pretend?

BB: Real.  Bert is real.

Me: Uh huh.  It would be kind of hard to ride in a pretend car.  Santa Claus… real or pretend?

BB: Pretend.

Me: Easter Bunny?

BB: Pretend.

Me: Tooth Fairy?

BB: Pretend.  How about walking trees?

Me: Pretend. That would be strange, but I’ve seen them in a movie.  What about pandas? Real or pretend?

BB: Uh, real… and pretend and stuffies (that’s what she calls her stuffed animals). 

Me: Wow, yeah.  There are real ones and cartoon pandas and you have a lot of stuffie pandas.  Isn’t that interesting?

BB: What about buildings?

Me: Real.  What about dinosaurs?

BB: Pretend.

Me: No, they really did live once.  But they don’t anymore.  So, I’m not sure what that makes them.

BB: They were real; then they all died.  Now they are bones.

Me: Yeah, that one is complicated. 

This went on for a while, until we moved to a rhyming game.  BB loves to rhyme.  What was interesting to me is that we have never told her that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t real and she’s just beginning to hear about the Tooth Fairy at school.  We’ve been a bit agnotistic about Santa Claus, letting her form her own conclusion.  It appears that she has.  I made an effort not to tell her what I thought about this for now.  I think I’ll have the same approach to religious issues, bringing it up, but not telling her what to think unless she asks.  I don’t think any child is an atheist any more than they can be a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist,  a Democrat or a Republican.  Perhaps they are all agnostics or skeptics, as they certainly question more than any other people.  I’ll expose her to the issues, in age appropriate ways.  Tell her what I think, as it makes sense, what others might think (to teach tolerance of ideas – I bet she’s aware that some of her friends think Santa Claus is real) and we’ll see what she thinks as we go.  It’s so much fun finding out.

Happy Halloween


Tonight was BB’s first trick or treat night since she was 1 1/2, as she was resistant for 2 years. She had it all figured out this year. She dressed as Cinderella, despite my issues. I admire her for holding strong. We pointed out that she doesn’t like the movie. She said, “I don’t like the step sisters. They won’t be coming with me.” Hmmm…. Hard to argue with that. At least in real life she wants to be a race car driver, a construction worker, & a phlebotomist.  We all enjoyed our evening out on the town – MawMaw, the duck, PawPaw, a little tigerish, The Bing and me.

Day at the ballet

We went to the ballet to see Carnival of the Animals performed by a local youth ballet.  Three grandparents went along and it was a delightful time.

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