Imagination is a double-edged sword. Now when Klara demands ice-cream (a new toy, a visit from her cousin, etc), I begin serving imaginary ice-cream or playing with an imaginary cousin, and she happily joins the game. But it cuts both ways, as I recently discovered.

Klara declared that she wanted to go to the playground instead of school.

“You have to go to school,” I explained, “because I need to work.”

“Why you need to work, Mommy?” she asked.

“Because I need to make money.”

“You need money?” Klara asked. “Here is money for you!”

And she handed me a stack of imaginary bills.

“Now you have money and we go to the playground!” she declared brightly.

This kid is not even two and a half years old, and she’s already smarter than me.

12 thoughts on “Imagination”

    1. Kids don’t get feminist theory but they surely do get psychoanalysis. 🙂 Klara still doesn’t need Daddy nearly as much as she needs Mommy. N says he can’t wait for the oedipal stage to begin. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “And she handed me a stack of imaginary bills.

    “Now you have money and we go to the playground!””

    She has a bright future in wall street! 😀


  2. I wondered about other thing – why out of possible oversimplifications (understandable to a two year old) of all motivations for you working you have chosen the one about money?


    1. Because the only alternative is to say “because I love being a research scholar.” To which the response would be “do you love it more than taking me to the playground?” To which the response would be “no, not really but soon enough you will prefer doing other things than spending time with me and if I don’t have anything else in my life, I will cannibalize your existence.” Then I’ll have to explain the concept of cannibalizing existence and we’d never get to school.

      I don’t have another truthful response to the question, and I try not to lie to her.


      1. Thanks… When reading the following question, please do not read any criticism into it. I am asking because I truly do not know: what if you said that you love both? Without mentioning cannibalizing anybody (surely not a good idea to offer a two year-old). My child psychology is a bit rusty – will it be damaging to a two-year old to face the fact that mom has several important foci in her life?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey, I’m not managing to explain even to a colleague – a professor of literature! – why Klara is in daycare in summer. I’m obviously bad at explaining this even to adults.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’m not sure kids that young can understand their parents as people outside of their roles as “my parents” or “Mommy” or “Daddy.”


          1. That’s true. I’m trying to explain that mommy is grandma’s daughter but I’m not being very successful because “mommy isn’t daughter. Mommy isn’t grandma’s! Mommy is my mommy.”


  3. Money only works because we’ve all collectively decided that it’s a real thing with value to exchange for goods and services. When the Treasury decides it needs more money, it just prints more. Klara isn’t really wrong.

    My solution to this dilemma of needing money was to clone my father so one clone would go to work and the other would play with me.


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