Did your kid have an imaginary friend?

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Posted 3/5/2013 by 3JaysA&C in NSBR Board
 

3JaysA&C
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Posted: 3/5/2013 10:37:14 PM
My son will be 4 in a few weeks. Since he was about 2, he has had two imaginary friends. According to my son, one of the friends left because the other one is mean.
He told us his friend's name is Ankal (spelling it the way he pronounced it) Today my son tells me that his friend punched him because he has been saying his name wrong. He now says that his friend's name is Angel. My son said Angel has brown skin, brown eyes, wears a white or silver shirt and is mean to him.
My daughter (who is now almost 17) had an imaginary friend when she was 4/5 years old but she took a character from a tv show. His name was Samarai Jack. I had to leave a plate out when she went to Kindergarten and act like I fed him while she was at school. She kept up with it for about a year and then we didn't hear about it again.

My son doesn't get to play with other kids every day. His sisters are a lot older than him. We used to go to a play group but it disbanded. He plays soccer and t-ball. We go to the local playgrounds and libraries for story time a few days a week so he definitely gets to hang out with other kids.

He seems to refer to Angel a lot more lately. Tonight I offered him a cupcake after dinner and he said he didn't want the chocolate one (he doesn't like chocolate, so it wasn't a surprise) I told him I could give him a vanilla one. He started to say yes with a big smile and then suddenly stopped. I asked him what was wrong and he said Angel told him he can't have it. I played along and said "Angel, I am his mommy and I said it's ok for him to have it." My son then said Angel was mad at me and that he would try to have the cupcake tomorrow.

I think an imaginary friend is completely normal but this one seems so much more involved than my daughter's when she was younger.

So did your kiddos have imaginary friends?

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Posted: 3/5/2013 10:55:17 PM
My oldest had an imaginary friend...actually it was the mascot and the entire football team of our local university.

They were never mean to him though.

I think I might take him to a therapist to see what was going on (of course I might be overreacting.


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3JaysA&C
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:03:20 PM
I talked to his doc, she didn't seem very concerned. He is happy, well adjusted, talks/plays with other kids easily.
He is with me all the time, so I don't have any worries about any caregivers or anything. When we aren't out at the library, playground, museum, we spend the day running errands, coloring, playing, reading. He likes to help with cooking and cleaning. He loves the sports he plays.

It's probably just a phase but it's so different from my daughter's imaginary friend!


scorPEAo
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:06:56 PM
Definitely something I would keep an eye on. My dd had two imaginary friends, coddle and sproodle, but they played with her and were never mean. Your son's experience reminds me of a documentary I watched on a little girl named January, or Jannie. Look it up I think it was called Jannie's story.



mlana
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:17:29 PM
My son had an alter ego based on a favorite stuffed animal and the alter ego had an imaginary best friend. His imaginary characters were very supportive of him, taking his side when I was mean, telling him that someone was being mean when he didn't get his way, that sort of thing. I would keep an eye on his friend, see if he is being modeled on anyone in particular. My son's alter ego's enemy was modeled on the mean kid down the street, and he and his imaginary buddy took u holy glee in kicking the bad guy's butt.

Marcy



pennyring
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:22:33 PM
I had two imaginary friends. A turtle and a hippo, named "Turtle" and "Hippo". Very creative, I know.

They lived in my backyard. I remember how they looked. I must've drempt of them or something because I literally remember looking at them and playing with them.

They were just playmates though. Not aggressive or anything.




Gennifer
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:24:16 PM
Is an imaginary friend that common? I have never known a kid who had one, honestly... None of my four kids have, and none of my over forty nieces and nephews have, either, as far as I know.



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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:30:53 PM

A turtle and a hippo, named "Turtle" and "Hippo". Very creative, I know.


Mine was called Girl. Just as imaginative LOL. My Uncle Charlie thought I was stark raving mad!

My DS had two. Max and Charlie. One day Max and Charlie did something naughty and broke a toy (according to my DS it was them LOL). I told him that he was responsible for his friends behaviour and if they were too naughty they couldn't come and play.

Oh I thought I was so so clever!

The next day Max and Charlie were back. I asked about them and DS informed me that they were now moving in because their real Mummy and Daddy had died the previous night.

And he has been one step ahead of me ever since!!

(a drawing DS did in Kindergarten of his family has Max and Charlie in it. It is hilarious).


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3JaysA&C
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:35:47 PM

Is an imaginary friend that common? I have never known a kid who had one, honestly... None of my four kids have, and none of my over forty nieces and nephews have, either, as far as I know.


I never had one growing up and I don't know about any of my nephews or nieces having one. A few of my friends have kids who have had one but I never really thought about it being common. My stepdaughter had one before I met her but I didn't find out about that until I talked to my SO about our son's.




3JaysA&C
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:52:02 PM

Definitely something I would keep an eye on. My dd had two imaginary friends, coddle and sproodle, but they played with her and were never mean. Your son's experience reminds me of a documentary I watched on a little girl named January, or Jannie. Look it up I think it was called Jannie's story.


Yeah that's scary. His ped brought up this documentary as an example of when google goes oh so wrong. She mentioned that people sometimes fail to take into account that there are usually other signs. Poor attention span, difficulty making or keeping eye contact,speech impairments, depression, flat or inappropriate emotional responses or reactions. She would be concerned if he showed even a hint of any of those but he doesn't. I only brought it up to her because she asked if he tells stories or knock knock jokes. When I told her about the imaginary friend, she laughed and said "Mom, there is nothing to worry about!" and then brought up the documentary. I wasn't familiar with it before that.

I am not too concerned that it is something other than an imaginary friend. I will keep an eye on it but it's not really raising any alarms. I just wondered if other parents had kids with imaginary friends too. Since my kids are so apart in ages sometimes it feels like I am a mom newbie!

my.unquiet.mind
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Posted: 3/5/2013 11:55:00 PM
I had a couple of imaginary friends when I was around age 2 or 3. They sort of looked like owls, but each one had a distinguishing characteristic. I called them "Cooties" and they drove VW bugs and lived down the registers of our house.

The one I remember the best was named "Mean Cootie" and from what I can recall, he had a son that I called "Mean Cootie's Son". They were never really mean, though. It was more like Mean Cootie was a cranky old man that grumbled about everything but ended up going with the flow most of the time anyway. Mean Cootie's Son wasn't mean at all...he was just called that because that's what his dad happened to be named.

I used to get on the floor and talk down the registers, telling everyone who asked that I was talking to my Cooties. They followed us in their VW Bug when we went places in our car, and even ordered and bought photo packages and photo albums in various sizes and styles because my parents were professional photographers and that's all I ever seemed to hear them talk about. Somewhere I have a cassette recording of me talking to my dad about the Cooties and what they're up to.



gar
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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:46:08 AM
My friend's son had a 'friend' who was only in evidence when he needed to deflect the blame for something he's done wrong/lost/broken

I agree it's a little unsettling that he's being intimidated by an imaginary child but if you've spoken to your doc then I'd just keep an eye on it for a while. Maybe you need to give him verbal permission to ignore Angel when instances like that occur.....I wonder if your permission would trump Angel?





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Posted: 3/6/2013 3:59:53 AM
Apparently I had an imaginary friend and it drives my parents nuts that they cannot remember her name and neither can I!

We lived in an old farmhouse on a forestry estate and it had a traditional veg garden complete with well established rhubarb plants. I used to go down to the rhubarb patch and sit underneath the big leaves talking to a small old woman and I always referred to her as "Mrs X who lives up the rhubarb".

We only lived there while I was around 3 to 6 years and it was probably in the earlier part of that time frame. The strange thing is I have plenty of memories of that time but not of sitting in the rhubarb patch, though I am sure she was a benign imaginary friend.

Cathy


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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:30:18 AM
My oldest had several imaginary friends when she was 3-5 years old. Shuey, Lister and Quasi. Quasi never would come in. He preferred to stay outside under the bushes in the garden. Shuey and Lister would come in. Sometimes they didn't behave very nicely. They would walk on the ceilings and sit on the ceiling fan. Dd would also shush them in town because they would get too loud when we were out. Apparently they were rather rowdy at times but not ever mean. Just exuberant.

I had an imaginary horse that I can still remember.


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TinCin
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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:55:55 AM
My oldest son had two for a couple of years. They also came as a pair and he talked about them doing things with him but nothing mean. The only time he ever got upset over them is when he figured out where they lived and we refused to take him to the house.

The youngest had a flying pink pony that was only around for a couple of months but he never told my son to do anything because "everyone knows ponies don't talk." Apparently they fly and are pink though.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:55:56 AM
My oldest son had two for a couple of years. They also came as a pair and he talked about them doing things with him but nothing mean. The only time he ever got upset over them is when he figured out where they lived and we refused to take him to the house.

The youngest had a flying pink pony that was only around for a couple of months but he never told my son to do anything because "everyone knows ponies don't talk." Apparently they fly and are pink though.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:32:56 AM
My youngest DD had an imaginary friend named Hama-Sharama! They were best friends and she participated in meals, family trips etc. Eventually, she outgrew it. We all thought it was funny and played along. I even did a scrapbook page on her!


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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:37:32 AM
My sisters shared one named Ghostie. He closely resembled and acted like Casper the friendly ghost! He was around for a few years but never caused any problems!



Peabay
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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:39:41 AM
I had one but none of my kids did.

I'd keep an eye on this and if it starts to make you uncomfortable, talk to your pediatrician.



cropduster
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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:44:25 AM
I had one at about that age and my DS had two of them. I'm wondering if it is more common in only children or some children like your DS and I whose siblings were born far apart. That may explain why those with large families do not have imaginary friends so much as children.


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HannahRuth
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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:20:24 AM

When our DS was about 3-4 he had an imaginary friend who he called Eleven.It was a girl and they played together and had wonderful adventures.

She left as she came - quietly and just when he was over it. No drama.

Our DD did not have a friend like this.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:31:15 AM
The little girl I babysit has (or had) one. He didn't have a name that I know of, but mom thinks it was the ghost of a boy that they have in there house. Mom has seen the ghost boy on a few occasions.




Rhonda

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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:33:43 AM
My son, now 17, had an imaginary friend (actually, his son, lol) from 3-6. His name was Oogag. You have to love those made up names. His mother died and DS was all he had. It was quite the story. He grew up and left for college about the same time Steve left Blue's Clues and went to college.

DS was the only one of our four with an imaginary friend. Sometimes we wonder what career path Oogag chose.




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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:36:01 AM
My oldest had an imaginary pet alligator. She walked it on an imaginary leash and it took baths with her.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:21:18 AM


One of my older DDs did. She had Allison for many years. Allison had her own family; she just visited our house a lot and went on trips with us. And there was a boy named Kim, not related to Allison, and he would visit once in awhile too.

DD's twin sis wanted an imaginary friend but didn't quite have the imagination to make one up from scratch, so she had Peter Pan as her boyfriend. A year or so later, she had a couple of leprechaun friends, Carol and Bob, but I asked her not to mention them in front of her sister because her sister was afraid of them. I can't say for certain, but they actually may have been imagined for the sole purpose of freaking her out.

DD3 didn't have one.






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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:26:30 AM
My daughter had an entire imaginary family. A mom, dad, and four sisters. They drove a flying Cadillac, and they lived at the North Pole. They came to visit her, and someday she was going to move there with them. It was pretty funny most of the time. Occasionally, though, she only told other people that she had another family who was coming to take her home soon, so we often had people who thought we had adopted or fostered her because she left out the North Pole and flying car parts when she mentioned it to them.


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Jennscraps
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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:26:30 AM
My daughter had an entire imaginary family. A mom, dad, and four sisters. They drove a flying Cadillac, and they lived at the North Pole. They came to visit her, and someday she was going to move there with them. It was pretty funny most of the time. Occasionally, though, she only told other people that she had another family who was coming to take her home soon, so we often had people who thought we had adopted or fostered her because she left out the North Pole and flying car parts when she mentioned it to them.


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icedpea
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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:47:10 AM
Oh, that's sad! My kids don't, but I had an imaginary friend. Mostly I think it was a creative expression, as in creating another "person". I controlled what the friend was named and what he did. Your son's "friend" sounds like a control freak. That is not a good friend!

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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:17:58 PM
My son had an imaginary friend he'd tell me about on the ride home from pre-school but I don't think he played with him - he just made up stories about "tyler".


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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:51:10 PM
My DD had an imaginary friend. One time when I was walking passed her bedroom, she was talking to someone so I asked her who she was talking to. She replied "her sister". She is an only child, so I asked her what sister? She replied "you know, the one that was in your tummy with me but she never came out." The wierd thing is that was was a twin, but the twin died in utero. It was not something we ever talked about since I lost the twin so early in my pregnancy and most people never even knew about the twin.

tamhugh
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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:57:27 PM
My younger DS had two imaginary friends. They were brothers and he built elaborate stories around them. I never really worried about it because apparently I had an imaginary friend as a child also. DS was a very creative, imaginative child and I think it was just one more way of expressing that for him.

PEArfect
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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:57:31 PM
Around the age of 3 my middle dd referred to her 'other mother' a few times. It was odd. It almost felt to us like someone she was 'seeing' instead of having an imaginary friend. When we asked about her 'other mother' she could describe her in detail. The last time she mentioned her was before we moved into our current home. She asked if her 'other mother' was going to come to the new house with us. After that she never mentioned her again.

I think I would be a little concerned that your ds's imaginary friends are mean to him.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 3:03:39 PM

I am not too concerned that it is something other than an imaginary friend. I will keep an eye on it but it's not really raising any alarms. I just wondered if other parents had kids with imaginary friends too. Since my kids are so apart in ages sometimes it feels like I am a mom newbie!


My children are now 31, 23 and 13 - my oldest is the only one that had an imaginary friend. His name was dinosaur and I always pictured him like Little Foot from that one cartoon dinosaur movie

My son and dinosaur were always together and it never caused any problems in his devlopment Neither of the girls had an imaginary friend. My son is a bright and creative type. He is self-taught in music and makes his own movies - so maybe it's an age span and/or creative thing


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LisaLisa
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Posted: 3/6/2013 3:55:48 PM
I had two imaginary friends, and both my DDs had one. My sister never did, to my knowledge.

Anyway, none of these imaginary friends were mean. Just keep an ear open. Do you think maybe it is a reaction to something, like a younger sibling always wanting to play the mommy or daddy because older siblings boss them around?


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doesitmatter?
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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:16:49 PM
Nope, none of the 4 did actually. I don't think I actually know anyone who's child actually had an imaginary friend.... I really don't think it's very common?


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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:18:58 PM
My youngest DS (now 13) had an imaginary sister called Yinny, she arrived when he was 3. She came everywhere with us, slept in his bed, etc. Yinny had brothers called Peg and Yin, who rode a motorbike and a sister called Sydney Hospital who lived in the cemetary. Yinny's age depended on what was happening at a particular time. Sometimes she was a baby and drank milk from a bottle. Sometimes she lived on the moon with some bandicoots. She seemed to fade away after DS sarted school age 6. I missed her. She was a big part of our lives for a while there.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:25:40 PM
My daughter had one, when she was about 3, it was a girl called Aisling and she mostly just manifested in the car. We collected a friend (male, single, no kids!) one day in town and as he sat in the back beside my daughter, she shouted "Don't sit there, you're squishing Aisling". The poor man had no idea what was going on!!!

On one occasion, when we were staying at a hotel, Aisling's entire extended family were on top of the wardrobe, but that was the only time they graced us with their presence!!

I can't remember if Aisling was ever mean or not.

Julie

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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:34:22 PM
An imaginary friend? DS had an entire imaginary back-up band. One member, "Mike", even got let go a couple of times. Once he ("Mike" broke the piano, not sure what happened the second time.

DS is now a healthy, intelligent and hilariously funny almost 13 year old. And he plays piano and drums, both by himself and with a *real* (middle school) band.

A healthy imagination is a good thing! Enjoy it!

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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:44:38 PM
my son had an imaginary friend, his name was "Joe". he also had a blankie that talked... his name was "Minnie", they both appeared around the same time,when he was just about 2 years old. His older sisters were in school, so I chalked it up to that..he was lonely, and they were his friends. It wasnt too much of a concern, although, a few times when we were getting ready to go out, he would tell me that Joe hit him, or Joe hit Minne, I would look down right next to my son and say "Joe, you misbehaved and therefore you are not allowed to come with us, please go inside and stay there until we get home". you should have seen the look on my sons face, It was priceless...Joe disappeared around the time my son started kindergarten.

Miss Lerins Momma
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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:02:27 PM
Neither of my girls had one. And neither of them went to daycare or preschool, so they weren't/aren't around a lot of kids (well Miss Lerin is because she's in school now).

I don't think my niece or nephew did either, not that I can remember!








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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:31:15 PM

The little girl I babysit has (or had) one. He didn't have a name that I know of, but mom thinks it was the ghost of a boy that they have in there house. Mom has seen the ghost boy on a few occasions.

I have a friend who is absolutely certain that the imaginary friend he had as a boy was actually a ghost.

DD had an "other mommy" who apparently lived in a blue house and fed DD broccoli and cat food "like when I was a teeny tiny kitten". She also used to play with her friends' invisible counterparts, Invisible Jaden and Invisible Belle when the real Jaden and Belle were not around.




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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:19:50 PM
My youngest son had a rainbow colored pet elephant named Bill. I don't think he was around very long, but I do remember it was fun (funny) when he was in existence. I had one when I was about 4. His name was Tony........my husband's name is Tony--- that just freaks me out when I think about it

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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:51:00 PM
My son's imaginary friend was "Scrappy". I don't remember how old he was when I realized he wasn't talking to or about Scrappy anymore, but when I asked him where Scrappy went he replied, "He moved to New York". Scrappy never visited us again
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TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
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Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 3/6/2013 8:02:03 PM
No imaginary friends for any of my 4 kids. But my second oldest had an "alter" personalities and loved to role play one or two particular characters, when she was younger. She is still very imaginative and creative, so I'm not too concerned.

Honestly, if my kids did have imaginary friends, I would be a tad freaked out by it. That may be related to watching too many creepy movies though (i.e. Hide and Seek, etc.).

mishkismom
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 163,728
August 2004
Posts: 5,024
Layouts: 41
Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 3/6/2013 8:39:08 PM
I had a few. Elgin, Zettle and... Michael. Zettle just disappeared one day Elgin was around for a long time but Michael... He didn't get off the school bus with me one day. My Mom went to set him a plate for dinner but I informed her he wasn't there. She asked where he was and I said he died of cancer. My aunt had just been diagnosed with cancer and I had heard them all talking about the fact that she was dying. My parents tried to explain it t me and I guess I had to play it out somehow to "get it" I was in kindergarden BTW.



Jan *********************************************

littlefish
Peain' in the Pool

PeaNut 78,065
March 2003
Posts: 16,919
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Loc: Sunshine State

Posted: 3/6/2013 9:07:06 PM
She has Annie and "The Boys".

They are all pocket-sized so they are easy to travel with. Annie is the sensible one. "The Boys" are the naughty ones.

She came up with Annie around a time when she was hearing about the Magic TreeHouse series, so I think that's where that name came from.

They've been around less since DD started kindergarten but every once in a while they pop up.


Julie
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