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Imaginary brother, or, I don’t *want* 3 kids

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If I understand correctly, it is not uncommon for young children to have imaginary friends with whom they carry on conversations, of whom they invent wild stories, and for whom they insist their parents set the table at meal time.

Oh, if only that were the case in our house.

This week, Tea informed me he’d taken a “quick trip to China to bring home another baby brother.  His name is Seth.  Like the Seth you knit the hat for, Mama, but a different Seth.  This one’s a baby that can’t walk yet.”

Oh boy.

Seth has been “left” home while we go to play group because “Punkin can change his diapers.  She can hold them in her mouth (cue Tea’s hysterical laughter).”  Most unfortunately, such neglect doesn’t fly when we’re home.  Tea is obsessed with watching Seth…or making sure I am watching him, with changing Seth’s diaper (or asking me to), with holding Seth when he cries (or ordering me to – and man, this kid apparently cries more than my other 2 combined).

Why can’t the figment of Tea’s imagination be older and more independent?  I’d even take an imaginary bad influence, like a second-grader who starts Tea on a path of gum chewing, skipping out of naps, and making fart jokes.  The last thing I need is a third baby boy in the house to keep track of.  Tea is far too responsible and won’t leave the room without handing me an empty blanket in a laundry basket, saying “I have to go upstairs.  Will you watch Seth in case he cries?”  If I speak too loudly, it’s “Shhh.  Mama!  Seth’s SLEEPING!”

I wish I could say he’s as attentive and compassionate about his real-life brother, but Pea is apparently not as interesting as the invisible kid.  Help me.  Please.

Holding Seth


8 responses »

  1. Love the picture, that is halarious…. you just need to convince Tea that Seth is now potty trained. Maybe Pumpkin could work on training him when you guys are out and about doing things out of the house. Now that would be something. You could then hire out Pumpkin’s training services. I would be interested when the time comes he can come train Nattie.

  2. I love it Robin…maybe Tea is Seths Guardian Angel? You never know Seth may be coming ‘home’ one day soon……..

  3. Because I’m not the one looking after Seth, this is just too sweet. But, when I think of all the times when Lou insists that I put the seatbelt on her stuffed animals when we are ALREADY running very late, or when I need to change pretend diapers after already changing a dozen real diapers for the day, I recall how you feel…

    But that photo is so precious~

  4. When I had Elise, Logan had “Akka,” the little baby boy. I can’t tell you how many times I burped an imaginary baby on my shoulder! That last picture of Tea looks EXACTLY like Logan when he was talking to his baby.

  5. I am hoping for you that it is just a short phase… I mean it looks cute, but I can understand that YOU don’t want to play that game all the time… attending 2 boys is already hard work… a imaginary 3rd one is maybe just a bit too much…

  6. That is the cutest picture ever. He’ll grow out of this, Robin…but probably not before you pull most of your hair out. In the meantime, maybe your can convince Tea that Seth is like those soap opera kids who somehow manage to age 15 years overnight. Of course, then you’d have a teenager on your hands.

    Maybe try this. Tell Tea that it makes you really sad to hear poor baby Seth cry all the time. And you know how much Tea cares for him, so you imagine it makes him feel sad too. This is why you are going to sprinkle some magic pixie dust on Seth–avoiding his eyes, of course–that will magically transform Seth into an older child with whom Tea can play.

    Other than that, I’m fresh out of ideas!

  7. Want to trade Seth for Cricket? Then Tea might decide he no longer wants a baby in the house… not a bad idea actually. Kill Seth with kindness. Insist that Seth gets fed first, read to first, tucked in first, etc. Might work. Or might drive you completely insane. Who knows?


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