You can probably imagine why these videos made me think of Toodles and Lunch Bucket. These guys know what play is really about. Play them full-screen if you want the full effect…
After putting Lunch Bucket to bed and singing her “Princess song,” I talked with her about how our Heavenly Father loves all of his children.
“Lunch Bucket, how do you know that Heavenly Father loves you?”
“He wuvs me because He’s holding me.” Then pointing to the picture of Jesus holding the lamb, “Wike, wike in that picture, he’s holding me.”
She’s got a good memory. It was over a month ago that I told her she was like the lamb in the picture.
“He is holding you. And He will always be holding you – even when you’re sad, or angry, or happy. He will always hold you, huh?”
“Yeah. I’m wike, wike, wike a sheep.”
“Yep. And you’re His little girl.”
While Lunch Bucket was sleeping on the couch today, I tried to keep Toodles occupied in the bedroom. He likes to torment sleepers, and Lunch Bucket really needed her nap. So Toodles and I played in the bedroom.
I tried reading him a story, but he wasn’t much interested in “The Princess and the Pea.” But I was. I’d never read it before, so while he bumbled and climbed around me, I read bedtime stories.
This morning Lunch Bucket REALLY wanted to watch a movie, but she’s been watching a lot of movies lately.
“Baba, can I watch a movie?”
“Lunch Bucket, I think you’ve watched enough movies lately. There are lots of other fun things to do.”
“No Baba,” she said in her favorite whiny voice, “I want to watch a movie.”
“But Lunch Bucket, why do you want to WATCH a movie when you could MAKE a movie?”
She looked at me for a minute, still with a pouty expression, but I could see the curiosity in her eyes.
“It’s much funner to make a movie than to watch a movie. Come here, and I’ll show you how to do it.” And I jumped up and ran to her room.
She hesitated. I think she was afraid of getting duped into something.
“Come on, Punkin, I’ll show you – it will be fun!” She again hesitated, but slowly crept into the bedroom, where I was quickly stacking blocks into the walls of a castle.
“See?” I said, “I’m making a castle. What toy should we use for the princess?”
She just stared at me, so I grabbed a doll – everything was readily accessible, since her room was a mess. “This will be princess… what’s the princess’s name?”
“Okay… Princess doll. This is Princess Doll sitting on her throne in the castle of… what should the name of the castle be?”
She mumbled a few inaudible words that I couldn’t understand, but I went with it.
“Okay. This is Princess Doll in the castle of Ahvheeravooda.” Then in a teen-girl-squad voice, I said, “I’m Princess doll, and I’m very happy, sitting on my throne.” Then in my normal voice, “Now we need a bad guy. Someone who wants to ruin everything.”
“I don’t want a bad guy.”
“Oh, but we have to have a bad guy. Otherwise it’s not a movie! We could have…” I held up a plush chicken, “Crazy chicken! Or…” I held up a rubber ducky. “.. the ducky of DOOOOOM! Or how about…” I grabbed a lanky plush monkey, “The monkey of MAAAAAAAAADNESS!”
Now she was starting to get into the game a bit.
We decided on the monkey, who turned out to be a villain who kidnaps princesses. Lunch Bucket wasn’t too fond of that part.
“No! Don’t put her in the dungeon!”
“Ha Ha!” the Monkey of Madness replied, “I WILL put her in a dungeon!”
“Quick, Lunch Bucket,” I said, “find someone to save her!”
She stared at me blankly for a moment.
“It’s part of the movie. You need someone to save her. Who could save her?”
She looked around a little unsure what she was looking for.
“Look, there’s someone!” I said, “Pink pony can save her!”
Lunch Bucket grabbed Pink Pony, who is actually a unicorn. Then swooping into the dungeon (somehow), she grabbed the princess and galloped her back to the safety of the castle.
Lunch Bucket was so excited about the story, she wanted to do another. This time, in order to avoid making the monkey a permanent bad-guy, we made him the protagonist in a story about why we must be careful when we throw things.
That’s one of the amazing things about children – their imagination is as real and vivid as any movie.