We are all supporting players in Dulcie’s imaginary worlds. Occasionally, when I’ve only had four hours sleep, and checked my bank balance, and realised I can’t have a pretty new dress, I harrumph at being made to be the Beast or a troll or a witch; but mostly I enjoy my swagger as I’m cast as a prince, to slay dragons and kiss princesses and swirl my tiny daughter around the Ikea rug that is, in fact, a marbled ballroom dance floor. Himself the Elf is now a useful addition to her imaginary world, but he won’t always comply. “Stop that! Don’t chew your crown!” she’ll squeal. He won’t take stage directions. “The whole castle is asleep until true love’s first kiss and he is clambering on a chair!” she protests.
Even as we walk down the street or play in the park, she’ll spot someone, a slightly older girl, always with very long hair and consistently wearing the sort of outfit that I wouldn’t dream of letting Dulcie wear until she’s oh, I don’t know, nineteen and able to buy it herself and even then her father and I will roll our eyes and ask if she’s going out like that; and she’ll say, “I’m being that girl with the high heels and the halterneck.” And that’s all it is. She knows nothing of them, and is sensibly clad in flat sandals and the sort of European, folksy clothes I love but she wrinkles her nose at, but suddenly, her walk changes and she’s flicking imaginary tresses, and eating pretend forbidden foods like lollipops or sweets. Continue reading