This is Melman.
Melman is three, that makes him a ‘big boy.’
He goes to playgroup, and Kindy, and he lives just around the corner.
Melman has a big brother, and a dad that loves to take him fishing. Unfortunately He doesn’t have a mum. She has died and gone to see Jesus. That makes Melman sad.
Oh, and Melman is imaginary.
On Monday morning, Bailey and Bridie were playing, and I heard Bailey talking about Melman. I thought nothing of it apart from, ‘what a cute name to give himself in a game.’ But later when we were in the car and we drove past ‘Melman’s house,’ I began to wonder just who Melman was.
Since then Melman has come up every day. He never is actually at the house, but Bailey talks about all the things he is going to do with him. Like go to his birthday next week, or go his house. This afternoon he told me he was going to sleep at Melman’s house until the morning so he could look after him. ‘Why do you need to look after him?’ I asked.
‘Because he is sad.’
‘Why is he sad? Why can’t his mummy look after him.’
‘His mummy died. She went to see Jesus.’
Is it just me, or is that a little creepy for a three year old? And only just three too (like yesterday.)
Bailey has always been excellent at imaginary play, and has an understanding way beyond his years, but it worries me when he is offering me explanations as to Melman’s absence from play group, when I haven’t even asked!
For the time being I’ve been letting it go, but at what point should I be concerned? Does he actually believe in Melman, or is he telling stories? Do I need to be talking to him about lying? Do I play along or discourage him? I’m really at a loss here.
I do worry sometimes that he doesn’t get enough ‘boy time.’ Having three sisters who marry him, and play mums and dads means he has great social skills, but I know it does frustrate him from time to time. Playgroup was a way to provide him with male companionship, but a lot of the boys there are different ages, and they just don’t seem to get on. He starts Kindy after the holidays, so hopefully that will help, and he will make a good friend there. I’m just wondering if Melman is his way of creating someone who he can play with. Someone just like him, who loves going fishing with his dad.
Bridie thinks it’s great. Whilst Bailey drew me a picture of Melman and his brother, Bridie created a baby sister for them called Nashy Dashy. She plays games with Bailey where they go to Melman’s house and play with him and his siblings.
But I’m not sure if this is helping. From the look on his face, he thinks he is talking about someone real, and she thinks it’s a game. I’ve been encouraging her not to encourage him, or make it up for him, but dear Bridie always thinks she can improve anyone’s game.
I’m wondering too, how much of this is related to school holidays. He always struggles a little when the older girls are at home, taking my time, and bossing him around. And up here in the NT we have four weeks, so that’s a lot of bossing!
Besides that, Tim hasn’t taken him fishing for a few weekends cause he hasn’t been well. Has all this just built up and expressed itself in someone called Melman?
I’d love some feed back here. Should I be worried or not? Has anyone else had an imaginary friend come to visit?