Monday, January 01, 2007

My daughter fights dragons

She keeps invisible tigers for pets, too.

I started this post a long time ago, but had a hard time finishing it. Talking about my daughter is hard. There are so many cool stories. I am so completely entertained by her that I don't know which stories would entertain other people. Plus, I have a memory like a sieve.

Poppy is four. She is kind of like a landscape. I'll be walking along with her and realize, huh, that was a sophisticated turn of phrase. Or, she didn't know that word before. Or sitting in the living room, I will be watching her play with hotwheels tracks (wearing Mardi Gras beads) and realize that I've never seen her put quite that much energy into puzzling the pieces of something together. She's like a landscape: I am always encountering something new. A sort of ambulatory Paracosm.

Paracosm is a fancy word for: A place that I made up. There is some technical literature, which all seems to focus on the complexity of children's made up worlds. I dabble in paracosms as an adult, with a game called Dungeons and Dragons, which is sort of like dollhouse with vicious, amoral, sword toting dolls in trap and monster filled dungeons.

Over the summer, my daughter started writing maps. She would take them with us whenever we went on walks, to direct our travels. She would lead me through landscapes: that's the dinosaur forest. There are tigers in those woods. Where do we go next? I threw in the icy river of Thurskgaard. We waded through that.

One of the things that entertains and interest me the most is what kind of things my daughter becomes interested in:

Tigers, Sharks, Dinosaurs.

Not princesses or baby dolls (although she seems interested in this new "Baby Alive" thing that excretes. Excretion is pretty interesting).

But: Music, and dancing, and sparkley clothes.

Not really money, yet. Not really drawing. Though I've tried to coax her.

She loves polyhedral dice.

Bones. "Dad, don't forget to bring me a bone book from the library."

When she draws pictures of herself, she includes her insides.

See? That scribble over her head. "What's that, Poppy?"

"It's my brain."

Well. Brains are important parts of us.

So, we had this conversation a couple of month's ago:

"Dad, what’s this?" picking up a Dungeon map. A Dungeon is the kind of violent dollhouse that you play "Dungeons and Dragons" in.
"It’s a map."
"Where do we live?"
"We don’t live on it. It’s a map of someplace in my imagination."
"Where’s your imagination?"
I pointed at my temple.
"That’s a cool map, then."

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