The Land of Makebelieve

We are currently living through extraordinary times. Covid-19 has taken over the world and we are amidst a lockdown, spending more time than ever before in our homes.

We are all facing LOCKDOWN challenges. For our household – aside from the bigger more serious picture – it’s being awoken at 5.15am and remembering who we are.

BEER darling?

My eldest son who is now 4, has never been hugely into ‘role play’ or ‘make believe’. We used to encourage him, and he briefly dipped his toe in playing The Witch from Room on the Broom. We were so encouraged we even bought a small broom. But it was short lived, despite my husband’s most dramatic attempt at the Dragon and my finest rendition of ‘DOWN! Cried the witch!’

He just quite simply wanted to be himself. He was happy with that. ‘Do you want to be Superman?’ we would tentatively ask, presenting him with Home Bargains’ finest superhero onesie. ‘Would you like to go as Monkey Puzzle for World Book Day?’ I would say, digging out cousin Owen’s hand-me-down monkey outfit. ‘No Mummy, I just want to be myself.’

And we were happy to let him make his own way. But oh is he making up for it now!

Have you ever heard of ‘Scarf Lady’? No, me either. Hold that thought.

It started a few weeks back when my darling boy bounded up to me on his little orange balance bike and said ‘Hey Superhero!’. He was clearly showing signs of wanting to play ‘Let’s Pretend’ so I responded with ‘Hi Biker Boy!’. Now to a little boy currently in love with said balance bike this was clearly what he wanted to hear. And off we went around the garden pretending to be Superhero and Biker Boy. Daddy quickly became ‘Super Daddy’ and his brother ‘Super Baby Brother’.

BIKER BOY exploring the New Forest

After a week of ‘flying’ to the train station on our daily walk, climbing the ‘mountains’ in our back garden and defeating the evil monster cat ‘Chutney’, who happens to live with us, I was caught off guard when he casually said ‘Can I have a snack please Scarf Lady’. Stumped. Who the hell was Scarf Lady?!!

Daddy quickly brought me up to speed. My son had decided he wanted to re-enact the CBeebies programme Sarah and Duck. Bugger. Not paid much attention to that one.

Sarah and Duck… quack

So thus it began. Sarah, Duck, Scarf Lady and ‘Bag’. Eldest son wanted to be ‘Duck’. Duck basically communicates through, well, quacking funnily enough. Really useful. I’m well versed in 4 year old ‘quack’. Thanks CBeebies.

Daddy was cast as ‘Sarah’. Now this isn’t the first time Daddy has played a ‘woman’ having donned a frock to play Ugly Sister, so actually having to call my husband ‘Sarah’ wasn’t all that weird. Well maybe a little bit. (Husband is an actor).

As I say, I was given the role of ‘Scarf Lady’. I can’t say I was thrilled having Googled the woman but it is what it is. I played ‘The Old Woman with One Buttock’ at college so in some ways I was right at home. Luckily I am not required to wear an actual scarf by eldest son so I think I’ve got off lightly. Interestingly having done said Google I actually came across a family in full ‘Sarah and Duck’ costume. For Halloween. This is happening to other people!!

Scarf Lady, Bag, Sarah & Duck

I have to say the starring role goes to my ten month old baby son. He’s lost any form of real name, simply referred to by my eldest as ‘Bag’. ‘It’s the Bag!!!’, ‘Bag just ruined my train track!!!’, ‘You put the Bag to bed and come back’. Poor thing is going to think his name is actually BAG. So glad we spent so long working out what to name him.

The problem is, quacking aside, I keep forgetting that my son is Duck and it is certainly keeping me on my toes! He’s a bit of a whirlwind at times, but negotiating with a 4nager who is convinced he’s a duck is a whole other level.

‘Son, can you PLEASE get dressed?’.

‘I’M DUCK!!!!!’.

‘OK Duck, can you please get dressed and take this to Daddy’.

‘You mean Sarah’.

‘Do I? (Confused) Oh yes, yes I do, take this to Sarah for Mummy’.

‘But you are Scarf Lady’.

‘Yes, sorry, SCARF LADY, I need to change the baby’s nappy’.

‘Bag’.

‘Sorry what?’.

‘The baby is a Bag’.

‘Ohhhhh… OK Duck, get dressed and take the bowl to SARAH, while I, SCARF LADY change the BAG’S bottom. Did I get it right?.’

‘Yes MUMMY!’.

A day in the life of Sarah and Duck

It’s only 8.30am at this point and we have already been up for three hours. Only 12 hours to go before we can fall asleep on the sofa. I suddenly hear quacking from the bathroom. Son obviously wants his bottom wiping. I’m getting quite good at this.

It’s all good fun though and the best thing is that Coronavirus doesn’t exist in Sarah and Duck so it’s actually a really lovely form of escape. And it causes much hilarity on a daily basis. For that I am truly grateful.

Stay safe and keep smiling. 🌈

UPDATE: We’ve been upgraded to Jack and the Beanstalk. Big Son is Jack, Daddy is the Giant, I am the Beanstalk and Baby Son is the Golden Egg. 👍🏻

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