We are a family of three.  At least that’s what all paperwork says.  There’s a mommy, daddy and an Olivia.  Until a couple of months ago.  Will has a friend named Andy.  I thought Olivia was talking about Andy.  That is until I closed the car door one day and she shrieked.  Apparently, I had closed ANNIE in the car.  Who, is Annie?  She’s Olivia’s imaginary friend.  She lives with us because her family’s house burned down and her mother is too lazy to build another one.  When we go to eat, we have to ask for a chair for Annie and there have been occasions where Annie had to order off the menu.  She prefers lasagna.  Even if it’s not on the menu.  Waitresses without children roll their eyes.  Waitresses with children smile.  Waitresses with grandchildren tell me to be glad it’s just one.  Oh, but wait.  It’s not just one.  Annie’s cousin Angel is now living with us, too.  Not quite sure the reason, but she does.   A couple of weeks ago Olivia told us there were two more that needed to move in.  No. Way.  I put my foot down.  I told her two imaginary friends was more than I could handle.  Especially since Annie sucks at getting ready for school in the mornings and there has been more than one occasion where she got left behind.  It’s a looong ride to school.  Even longer with a lecture from a four year old about being a good friend.   It’s even longer when I have to lecture back on why it’s important for our imaginary friends to follow the same rules as those we can see.   I know it’s part of her growing and imagination.  I’m thrilled she can fantisize.  So I’m not knocking that part.  I do admit that tri-weekly birthday celebrations and making special accomodations for someone who is smarter than a scientist, taller than a tree and richer than a bank gets a little old.

Just so you know, no one gets special treatment around here.  Except me.

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