Pretend that

We are driving to my Mom and Dad’s place.  It is a relaxing Sunday afternoon.  It has been unseasonably warm the last few days.  (Which, I do not say to rub it in.  It is vital to the story.  Ok, maybe, it is not even a little important.)  I roll down the windows.  We drive along the back road instead of taking the freeway.  

Wendy and I are quiet, and content.  In the back, the kids play their favorite game.  It is called pretend.  It only really has one rule.  You can choose what you are pretending to be, but you can’t choose what anyone else in the game should pretend to be.  

This rule is broken more often than followed.  And chaos always ensues.

“Pretend that I am a cheetah.”  Isabelle tells Isaac.  This is one of her staples.  Her cheetah never runs, and hardly claws, but it roars like a lion.  “And pretend that I ate you and you are dead.”

I am not sure whether this is a technical violation of the rule.  She is not telling Isaac what to be, but what state to be in.  It is border line.  I wait for Isaac’s reaction.  I grip the steering wheel ever more slightly.  The tension passes.  Isaac has ruled that although it is on the fringe, it is not a technical rule violation.  No objection is lodged.

“And pretend that God raises you from the dead.”  Huh, I think, i did not see that coming.

About this, Isaac does complain.  “YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO INVOLVE GOD IN OUR GAMES!”  He is livid.  And he is speaking like a college freshman.  The way that he has phrased it sounds so odd coming from my six-year old.  

I did not know about this rule.  I am not sure what the reason is.  I am left to wonder.  Is it because it is unfair?  Is it the whole discussing politics/religion thing?  Or is it that he finds it sacrilegious?

Isabelle is very good at finding the loophole.  She is a four year-old that is cagey and will not be boxed into a corner.  If I tell her that she cannot have a cookie, she will ask for a piece of chocolate.  If I respond no treats, she will ask whether a fruit roll up is a treat.  If I reply yes, she will ask for a snack.  If I say no snacks, she will ask...  

“Okay Isaac,” she replies. “Fine.  Pretend that his angels raised you from the dead.”  Isaac has the same objection to the angels.  

“Okay Isaac, pretend that HEA-VEN-LY FATH-ER raises you from the dead.”  I wait for Isaac’s objection.  There is none.


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