Most kids his age have imaginary friends. It comes with the territory and I am by no means an imaginary friend noob. I vividly remember having to stop and "buckle" in all of Zavis 9 imaginary friends in the back seat of our car whenever we went out. This went on for months. And I did so silently, never complaining, even in the negative 10 degree winter weather. I have a high respect for imaginary friends.
What's different about Ashes Elephant though, is where it lives.
This weekend Ashe came up to J and said "DADDY I HAVE AN ELEPHANT."
J looked at him smiling and said "Oh yeah?"
"YEAH, I HAVE AN ELEPHANT. WANNA SEE?"
"Sure Buddy, I'd love to meet your Elephant."
Ashe then proceeds to shove one of his grubby fingers up his nose then pulls it out like he is holding something and holds it out to J. "SEE DADDY HERE IS MY ELEPHANT." (insert Ashe making Elephant noises here, which is impossible to actually type out I just realized...so use your imagination)
Now I didn't witness this conversation on my own but J did relate it to me after the fact between fits of gurgled laughter. He also mentioned that when it was time to go food shopping ( a weekly routine where J picks one boy to accompany him and it was Ashes turn) Ashe insisted Elephant come too. And while meandering through the aisles, Ashe would stuff his finger up his nose, "pull out" Elephant from his comfy dwellings and ask his opinion of which snack would be best to bring home. I guess Elephant would answer him and then Ashe would proceed to pick up a snack and place it in the cart, content with Elephants advice on snackages.
I got to meet Elephant earlier this week. Fortunately I had been prepared through Js story so I was able to keep a straight face when I was introduced to him. I complimented him on his beautiful big ears and asked him nicely to not destroy my living room. I couldn't tell you if our introductory meeting went well or not because I haven't "seen" him since (although I have heard Ashe converse with him a few times in bed) and my living room does look like a tornado went through it (but it always does with 3 kids and 1 of them home sick this week).
We've been lucky so far with Elephant. Zavis imaginary friends also needed their own spot at the dinner table but we haven't reached that point yet with Ashes new found friend. It may come though. I'm still trying to figure out how to be ready when the time comes that Ashe asks me to buckle up Elephant in the car. Do I pretend to buckle Ashes nose or insist Elephant comes out of there and sit in a proper seat? Can he sit up front as it is the only chair left not taken up by car seats and booster seats? Is Elephant the appropriate age to sit up front even?
This morning, Ashe woke up with a stuffy nose. I asked him if Elephant was getting too big to live there. He looked at me for a moment as if considering and said "NO MOMMY, THAT'S NOT ELEPHANT. I HAVE BUMBLEBEES IN MY NOSE." He then shoved his finger up his nose and pretended to pull out a bumblebee. "BZZZZZZZ"
I'm starting to wonder how big this menagerie of animals will be in the next few weeks!