Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The culture of play

I caught Megan pulling a large amount of kleenex out of the box today, but she said there was a good reason. Later, she came into my room and pulled out a piece of square note paper from my desk. She does this on a daily basis - she's my writer, and she's always making notes about things around the house. Then she came in and asked me how to spell "massage." At that point my curiosity got the better of my, and I went into the playroom to discover a makeshift bed with a stuff monkey laying on a pile of kleenex. At his feet was a note that read, "Feet Massage for Animals." There was a line of other animals who had either already received treatment or were awaiting it.

I asked Megan to show me how she did the massage (this was after I had asked and been denied my own feet massage. I was told it was only for animals). She giggled a bit, put her foot on a long flat Lego piece next to the little bed, and pushed down on the monkey's belly. She said it was more of a full body massage. She rolled up his legs and unrolled them, pushed on various body parts, flipped him over and rubbed him with a stray Batman action figure cape.

This is just another example to me of the interesting life our kids lead. We just spent three weeks in Thailand, where there are signs for foot massage and Thai massage on every corner. (The lego foot pedal and the body pushing I realized is her imitation of my friend Fiona the chiropractor correcting my often misaligned body). She's just imitating what she sees.

Since they were little, these evidences of another culture have shown up in our kid's play times. They make fried rice and take their bikes to the bike repair man. They pretend to fly places, but make sure they have their visas and passports first. To them it's totally normal. To me it's fascinating.

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