I think it's normal for children to have imaginary friends. But is it normal for them to have imaginary husbands? This is what has been going on at our house for the past few weeks. Mattie has been going on about her husband "John". He lives in our house and they are raising all her babydolls together.
Let me give a little background; since she was about 3 years old, Mattie has wanted to get married. We have had MANY discussions about why 3yr olds and 4yr olds can't get married (how weird is that?). I think part of it is the obsession with being the bride...she loves to go to weddings, and one of her favorite shows on TV that we watch together is "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC where girls shop for and buy their wedding dresses at an upscale boutique in NYC. So, she is very into being a bride, but she is also very into the idea of having a husband.
And she is also VERY into her baby dolls. She has lots of dolls, but about 7 or 8 main baby dolls that she mothers. She carries them all over the house, many times making multiple trips to get them all in the same place at the same time. She'll say things like "these babies want me to hold them ALL the time" in an exasperated voice. Or I'll hear her talking to them, saying things like "no, honey, don't scratch your sister" or "no, sweetie, don't put that in your mouth". She changes diapers, puts them in PJ's at night and clothes during the day. It's a lot of work, and it's all very real to her. And very cute to watch.
So a few weeks ago, she tells us that she has a husband, and his name is John. We've been hearing about him ever since. Here's what we know about John:
-He has brown hair, and a brown mustache and brown beard
-He was a teacher/coach just like her daddy, but just this morning she told us that he got fired because he was late to work, but it wasn't his fault because he doesn't ever know what time it is (she has obviously been listening in the mornings when I tell her to hurry up or I'm going to be late and get fired).
-He's a good daddy because anytime we're away from the house, Mattie is only allowed to bring one baby doll with her, but John stays home and keeps the rest of them. Sometimes we have to "call" John and remind him of things, like this morning she asked for my phone, called John and said be sure to give all the babies cranberry juice for breakfast (what?). We've also called him to tell him to go get diapers or food in the past few days.
-Yesterday as we were getting ready to leave in the morning, she told me John was still in bed asleep, but she was going to wake him up with her flute. She wanted to know if I thought HE would think it was funny, so I said "sure he will". A few minutes later I hear her go in her room and blow her flute as loud as she can and then scream "WAKE UP, LAZYBONES!!!!" John is such a good sport, he did think it was funny...according to Mattie.
She talks a lot about "one day when I get married", and this weekend she told me that when she grows up and gets a real husband, John will go away. So at least we know he's just temporary.