Every once in a while, say once or twice a month, at bedtime as Heather is waiting for her mom to come up and sing her bedtime songs, someone else comes up the stairs instead.
Friends, this is Matilda:
|"Oh, well Heh-ther, it's-a so nice-a to be-a seeing you once again on this-a fair night-yaknow?"|
Matilda bears an uncanny resemblance to someone else you might know, but she is quite different in that 1)she always wears a head scarf, 2)she has some weird swedish/dutch/russian/who-the-heck-knows accent, and, 3)she tells stories about "the old country" which is her home, and where she lives with her brother when she isn't visiting this land where Heather lives.
Matilda told Heather that she used to visit Heather's mother when she (the mother) was a little girl. This isn't exactly true. In fact, this is an outright lie. But, when we're in the land of make-believe, sometimes outright lies can be forgiven.
Wondering how Matilda started coming to our home? Well, it was quite simple really. A month or two ago, as I was getting ready to go up and sing Heather the bedtime songs, I was in the mood for a bit of fun. So, I pulled on a headscarf, and entered Heather's room as Matilda. She was delighted, and honestly for a bit I think she really was puzzled as to how this could all be happening. We had a lovely chat in which Matilda told Heather all about "the old country" (making it all up as she went along of course--which actually led to troubles down the road as Heather was able to pick out inconsistencies in the story at a faster rate than I was able to remember the story--but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes) and Heather told Matilda all about her parents and her friends and her cat. Then after a bit, Matilda left, and I came in for songs, apologizing for being so slow to get there. Heather (as you might imagine) told me with great excitement and shining eyes all the details regarding her visit with Matilda.
We both had so much fun with it that I've continued the tradition. It's been great fun, to say the least. I get vast enjoyment out of seeing Heather through the eyes of a "stranger", because even though we both know deep down that Matilda and Mom are the same person, we both pretend that we don't know, and so Heather talks to Matilda as if she were a magical (old) woman and friend, visiting from far away. Seeing that side of Heather is pure delight for me, and I've gained insight into her personality, what is most important to her, what isn't all that interesting to her, what she loves, what she doesn't care for. It's all been very entertaining, enlightening, and quite helpful in my quest to mother her in the best way.
Most of all though, it's a whole lot of fun.