“Want to go outside, Daddy? Want to go outside to PLAAAAAYYY?”
We’ve lived in our home a year and a half now, but it’s only been in the last month or so that Annie has realized how much fun can be had playing in the backyard. This is adorable, but also time consuming for me because I’m her favorite outdoor playmate. I think I know why she likes playing with me so much – I’m willing to follow her imagination wherever it takes us, and sometimes it takes us to some pretty weird places!
A perfect example of Annie’s unique playing style came last weekend when she asked me to go hit baseballs off her tee. This is normal enough – even if she did insist on doing it while “practicing” to be her favorite players, Buster Posey and Matt Kemp (“practicing” is Annie-speak for “pretending”).
Did I mention she often plays baseball in her little wedding dress?
After a few minutes, though, Annie dropped the bat and ran over to our lounge chairs and jumped onto one.
“Don’t you want to hit anymore?” I asked.
“No, Daddy! Now I’m practicing to be Michaela in the stands with her cousin!”
“You mean you?”
“Yes! I’m Michaela and I’m watching the baseball game with Annie!”
Annie at a spring training game where she “sat in the stands with her cousin.”
Annie then told me to practice being Buster Posey and “hit the ball far, far away.” I indulged her (or maybe I just liked pretending to be Buster Posey), and as I hit balls off the tee Annie chanted “Let’s Go, Giants!” and mimed eating cotton candy. It was very cute (and a little weird).
She wasn’t done, though. She then decided that we should “practice” getting ready to go to Dodger Stadium.
“You practice to be Mama and get me dressed for the game, Daddy!”
I looked around, then, after confirming we were indeed alone in our backyard, agreed to “practice” to be Heather. Annie directed me to dress her in an imaginary dress, comb her hair with an imaginary brush, and then drive her and Daddy (you following this?) to the stadium in our lounge chair/car.
“We’re here!” Annie shouted after I did about half a minute of fake driving, then climbed down off the lounge chair.
“All done playing?” I asked.
“No! Now you practice being Daddy and buy me lemonade! Come on!”
Annie always has a lemonade at baseball games.
Annie grabbed my hand and pulled me off the lounge chair.
“I’m not Mommy anymore?”
“No! Now you practice to be Daddy!”
From there Annie lead me inside and over to the refrigerator where I “bought” her a lemonade. I put the straw in box, handed Annie the lemonade, then plopped onto the couch thinking she was done playing outside.
“Daddy! We have to go back to our seats! Come on! Mama’s waiting!”
So back to the lounge chair we went, where Annie drank her lemonade while we watched an imaginary baseball game next to an imaginary Heather. For the record, the imaginary Giants destroyed the imaginary Dodgers 14-0. It was a heckuva a game.
It’s been a kick watching Annie’s imagination run wild. I just hope none of the neighbors can see into our backyard.
You crack me up! I can see you “checking the backyard” to make sure you were indeed alone!!! I love that you swear that Annie was shouting “Go Giants!” instead of “Go Dodgers!” LOL But perhaps this is because she was with you & not Heather. (Good job practicing being Heather, BTW!)
I love Annie’s imagination and love even more that you jump into her imaginary world! My dad never would have done that. So grateful that the times have changed & that more and more daddies are like you! Annie is a very blessed to have you as her daddy (and Heather for her mommy, of course!).
Warms my heart!
PS~Glad your Giants won!
You area such an awesome dad! GO MIKE!
How wonderful. I love children with imaginations. And good for you for joining in
I literally can’t remember my dad ever playing with my brother or I. Ever. It’s so nice Annie will have these memories.
My kids are 11 and 13 and just the other day I stared wistfully into my backyard from inside the house, wondering when it was they were last out there with me. It’s been a while. They are still young but their interests have changed so much. I would say enjoy this time – but you already do.
Even if they can see, so what! They would be impressed for sure. It’s not often that you see dad’s playing make believe with their children. Go Mike!!
You had me cracking up so much my dog came over to see what was so funny!
I have a niece who is a few months younger than Annie and I love to watch her “practice” when I get to babysit her. Sometimes when I am taking a break, she will play with her Calico Critters. I will hear, “Come on! Let’s go!” and I will be all “Huh? What? Where we going?” Then she will inform me with a sigh that it is her Calico Critters talking. This age is such a blast!
Jana Frerichs says:
You are such a good dad. You and Heather were both so lucky to find each other. I wouldn’t laugh if I saw a dad playing the way you do, I would think it was AWESOME!!! Oh and WAY TO GO “PRACTICE” GIANTS!!!!
Debbie A-H (editdebs) says:
I doubt the Giants beat the Dodgers by score! I think you’re pretend embellishing!
My twin sister and I were our daddy’s shadow. We would climb our of bed, go to their room, where one of us would lay on his chest and go back to sleep, and the would lay on the rug on the floor and hold his hand. We celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary a couple years ago, and during the toast I said we had the best “refrigerator box playhouses” around. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but daddy found a way to give us playhouses!! And the best is he was right there with us!! And our mom (who’s a good mom too) wonders why we are still such daddy’s girls, at “our age!”
PS…how bout them Orioles??
That’s awesome. All my daughter wants to do with her dad is horseplay. Daddy’s jobs are tickling, walks, bouncing and running around. Mom’s jobs are to play Lego, house, pretend and color.
I get annoyed by it because we tried our hardest not to have her pick up on gender stereotypes if at all possible (she’s just as at home playing with trucks and airplanes as she is with dolls, and knows firsthand that daddies can be nurturing too, and moms can be too busy to play), but she’s decided to make up her own rigid mom and dad roles, just the same (go figure), so I grumble at the husband that he got off easy with having all the non consuming play duties (aside for walking, but they both like to take long walks at the sculpture park, so I claim it doesn’t count).
He always retorts that it’s not fair to blame him for it, because he’d love to play Legos, for example, and he tries every time with no success.
I am still laughing! Could be a fun TV situation comedy.
When Jurassic PArk 3-D was released it reminded me of when my brother and I were playing in the back yard that the dinosaurs were chasing us and we had to go run and hide.
And we had this little 4-wheeler that drove, and my brother would drive it (not an ATV but a ghetto battery run jeep thing) and we would ride it around yelling “MUST GO FASTER!”
Best thing ever.