I would have thought that 31 years of life experience would have a creative edge over three years of life experience.

In other words, I expected to be a whole lot better at “pretend play” than my preschooler is. At the very least, I should be on par.

I’ve already admitted that pretending is not my favorite way to play. But still, I try. After all, sucking it up and getting down on the floor to act out some sort of illogical scenario is still (slightly) better than parking him in front of the TV all day.

The thing is, he’s so much better at it than I am.

Here’s what I do: I pick up a dinosaur, knock on the door of the “house” we’ve built with Magna Tiles and announce my presence. Usually, I say something like, “Hello, is anyone in there? It’s me, Parasaurolophus!* I’ve come for the party! I brought cupcakes. May I come in, Triceratops?

But the triceratops doesn’t hear me because apparently he’s already snuck out the back of the house and jumped onto a giant airplane, which Ryan is now flying around the living room as he yells, “OH NO! TRICERATOPS IS GONNA FALL OFF!” We needn’t worry, though, cuz all of a sudden, a shark comes soaring up from the floor to chomp on the wing of the offending airplane and wrestle it to the ground, effectively saving triceratops as I exclaim, “Wow, what an unlikely turn of events! Seriously, where can I put these cupcakes?

Dude is creative. In his world, throw pillows are giant pancakes. Rugs are mud pits. A clothing hamper is Oscar the Grouch’s garbage can.

Like, what exactly is happening here? We will never know.

Like, what exactly is happening here? We may never know.

When you ask him to name a plastic Lego guy, he doesn’t choose something obvious like “Guy” or “Ryan” or “Daddy.” He names him Trent.**

He can’t simply pick out books to read before his nap. He must first pretend to purchase the books from the “grocery store” and then surprise me with them.

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is an awesome cat door like my Aunt Erica has in her house.

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is an awesome cat door like my Auntie Erica has in her house. It would provide me with Hours of Entertainment.

Many times throughout the day, his eyes light up as he yells something totally random like “Hey, I know! You be the octopus! I’ll be the fish! Let’s go hide!

I’m realizing that you can’t learn to be that creative. I don’t think life experience makes one bit of difference. It’s either innately in you or it’s not. It’s not in me and I’ve always wished it were. To see it in my son is the next best thing.

No, actually, it’s better.

I expect to spend the rest of my life in awe of him. First as a silly kid who creates hilariously weird games, then as an adult who finds creative solutions to the world’s problems or creates wonderfully unique art.

In the meantime … is it just me or does “You be the Octopus; I’ll be the Fish” sound like an awesome memoir title?



*I should at least get points for knowing my dinosaurs.

**No, we don’t know a single “Trent” in real life.

6 Responses to My kid is way more creative than me.

  1. Craig says:

    Saw a fascinating episode of Brain Games on NatGeo that basically echoed what you’re feeling. Kids have no norms associated with their creativity, while adults have an entire lifetime of norms built up. It lets kids have wild imaginations and be so much more creative. Really cool show, btw.

  2. Jaclyn says:

    I think I know what’s happening with the toilet. For some reason, that photo is making me think of a Mandy J. college party. I think Nemo and Mickey had too much Harry Buffalo.

  3. Angie says:

    Oh man, Pretend Play and I are not besties either. We’re acquaintances, at best. I try and try and try to break through Pretend Play’s tough exterior, and sometimes I actually do and we have a victorious moment. But, mostly, we’re at odds with one another. While engaging Pretend Play, I’m thinking about Chores and The Clock and Instagram and Anything Other Than Crawling Around on the Floor with Tractors.

    But, seriously, I’m totally in awe of my kids’ imaginations, too. I like to follow their lead when we play. They always come up with things way cooler than me anyway.

  4. Grandma says:

    I think I know what’s happening in the bathroom. I think
    It’s a mean game of cowabunga. Wish I was there!

  5. […] need to add another characteristic to describe you now: Creative. Your imagination and creativity has flourished in the past six months. Watching you play and act out TV skits or create little random scenes with your toys has been one […]

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