Context is everything

The girls love to role-play with their toys, and CJ and I try to encourage it as much as possible.  The imagination muscles need to be exercised.

Every now and then one of their toys will get into trouble – like getting "stuck" in one of the crevices of the couch – and need to be rescued.  What does the toy do when he/she needs to be rescued?  They call for help, of course.  Katherine learned how to call for "play-help" a while ago and thankfully Lucy has picked this talent up as well.  (Either that, or I’ve just gotten better at distinguishing calls for play-help from calls for real help.)

There are times, though, when their play gets a little TOO realistic.  Usually this happens when there is a "mommy" figure and "child" toys.  The children invariably get into trouble, or are just trying to get the mommy’s attention.  In these cases, they will call "mommy" or "mom" over and over.  Unfortunately the tone here is frequently the same one that Lucy or Katherine use when they’re trying to get CJ’s attention.  If CJ’s in the room, she’ll have to look at them to make sure they aren’t talking to HER.  Context helps in these grey cases, though.  If we hear "Mommy, Katherine took my toy" or "Lucy give it back!" we know we need to intervene. 

And if we hear "Mommy, the giant piranha are about to eat me" or "Lucy the ninja hex bug is going to get you!" ?  Well, we’ll glance over to sure no one’s about to take a header off the couch to escape the impending doom, but otherwise go about our business.