I babysat my two nieces (6 and 4 years old) and my nephew last night (17 mos.).
Getting desperate to keep them entertained before we hit bedtime, I proposed an old favorite game of theirs that I had invented about a year ago.
“Sleeping Dragon” I called it.
To be honest, the game allowed me a bit of a rest during their incessant energy bursts so it seemed the best of both worlds. I played a sleeping dragon and they were the villagers that tried to come and take my treasure hidden beneath my pillows. We changed the game here and there over the months (I realized I wasn’t exactly modeling good morals, as I was encouraging them to steal and then lie about it when the dragon came prowling about later) … but they still enjoyed the game, even with the modifications.
Well, amazing what kids learn in a year. This time, the game took an unexpected turn and my six year old niece was going to be a scientist. She informed me that my treasure was covered in poison due to all of the bad chemicals in the air and she was going to analyze it and fix the problem. She had a pretend laptop, microscope and protective gloves to take care of it all. The four year old also had a lab, though she still took care of her baby in it. At the end of it all, she solved both the poison problem and gave me a special nail polish that would help a dragon (me) with restful sleep.
I felt even more bewildered when they presented me with a baby dragon, and then asked if they could take the baby back to their laboratory for tests.
‘What kind of tests?’ I asked in horror, wondering what TV shows these days portrayed.
‘Oh, just a picture,’ they replied. ‘With our computer. She’ll be fine.’
… and to think in my day, it was considered entertaining to just fight dragons …