Charlie has an imaginary friend. His name is Mouse. Mouse‘s best friend is Spider-Dog.
We think it comes from the books we often read him at night featuring a mouse, bird, and rabbit by Ant Park and Tony Mitton. Spider-Dog? Well, the kid loves him some superheroes, but Mouse is the star of his show.
“Where’s Mouse?” I’ll ask him at bedtime.
“Him’s naked on the bed!” Charlie laughed. “Him’s putting him’s jammies on,” falling over giggling.
“Where’s Mouse?” My wife asked him the other night at dinner.
“Him’s on vacation,” Charlie answered just a week after we had gotten back from a vacation of our own. “Him’s momma is sick. Her has a cold.”
Having young kids in the house, birthdays are a constant topic of discussion. Whose birthday is next, which order they come in, what kind of party they want to have. Never mind that the birthdays are 10 months away, the topic will always come up.
So I asked Charlie when Mouse‘s birthday was.
“Next week!” he said.
“Well, we need to have a party for him,” I said as I went to our family calendar and wrote in his birthday on September 27.
My wife snickered and shook her head. This is a phase the kids go through – a very short one. So we’re going to go all in and embrace it. We brought out the Happy Birthday banner we hang in the kitchen for each celebration. We brought out our Happy Birthday paper plates, hats, and cups. We went to the bakery and got a tiny cake with Mouse‘s name written on it.
We had macaroni and cheese for dinner (Mouse‘s favorite) and we even bought a few little presents for Mouse. A big superhero sticker book, and costume pieces that perfectly fit the boys’ interests, because of course they do.
Yesterday morning as Charlie bounced out of bed announcing it was Mouse‘s birthday, I asked him “Where’s Mouse, Charlie?”
“Him’s in my head,” he smiled.
The kid just might have just pulled one over on us, but I don’t care. For one night we all reveled in the playful bliss of childhood imagination – and had birthday cake in honor of an imaginary Mouse.