When people talk to you, listen.


Recently, my almost-four-year-old started talking about her friend the woodpecker that lives in our yard. Her imagination is WILD lately, so I just let it go in one ear and out the other. She would talk about how she woke up and saw it, or yell hello at random times during the day. I ignored it figuring her “woodpecker” would eventually go away. After all, how would my pre-preschooler know what a woodpecker looks like?! Every time she went to show him to me, he was “on the other side of the tree”. She asked me to “just wait” several times, but life got in the way of my waiting for an imaginary bird.

Last week, I woke up feeling sick. Girl asked me if she could just stay home, which she never does. I decided it was a sign and declared a sick day. We stayed on my bed in jammies for most of the morning watching movies and eating snacks while my body decided to get with the program. At about 11, Girl looked out the window and waved. I asked if she knew someone walking by, and took a second to look, and guess who I saw? THE WOODPECKER. Sure enough this fairly large Woody relative has taken up residence in my back yard! I asked how she knew what it was, and she told me Toodles brought Mickey one on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one time. Yep. The episode aired the next day, and all I could do is laugh. I should have listened to her at the beginning instead of blowing her off. She spotted a woodpecker, and I almost had her checked for hallucinations when it was just me discounting her observation skills. Lesson learned.

Did I mention that as I write this, she is having a tea party with three imaginary friends she calls Bob, Helen, and Roger? Yep. Good times. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have anyone but her brother in there with her. Maybe I should go check…