“Today I am a round blue thing mommy. What am I?” said little Donny. As soon as he posed the question to mom he hugged his legs firmly and started swaying from left to right and back again; he laid curled up like a little fur ball on the floor. Sure that he had mom’s attention, he stopped swaying to receive his mom’s response.
“Hmm, let me think,” said his mommy, “are you a furry, round blue thing?”
Mom thought that perhaps he was pretending to be the little blue furry kitten pictured in his story book the night before. Why would anyone think of painting a kitten blue anyway, she remembers thinking.
“No. No fur on me”, laughed Donny, “keep guessing mommy.” He swayed to the left and again to the right and then stopped, eagerly awaiting mom’s answer.
“Well, are you a round blue thing that enjoys being kicked around?”, his mother asked.
“Mmhn. Maybe. You can kick me around but that’s not what I am for”, said the boy with his eyes dancing on mommy’s face.
Mom was sure that the little boy was talking about the nice blue ball that his grandparents had recently sent for him. But, right after thinking that, a more recent image arose in her mind: “No ball kicking inside the house,” dad had said in an authoritative voice. Dad was bent over picking up the shattered pieces of the broke lamp. “Balls are for playing outside; not for inside the house — things get broken and hurt”, dad had punctuated. Dad’s reprimand had made Donny cry but he never kicked his ball inside the house again.
“Hmmn are you a round blue thing that likes to bounce up and down then?” asked mom.
“No mommy. I cannot bounce. God didn’t make me for bouncing. Just for rolling.” replied the little boy.
“No?”, Mommy said in surprise. “You’re not your new blue ball?”
“No mommy. I’m not that.”
Mom looked away from the magazine she was paging through to get a clue from the things he was playing with at the moment. No mention of round blue objects in the story books he had around him nor anything blue in his vicinity. He was playing with his toy cars but those were not blue. Mom couldn’t decide what to say to him.
“Well, I’m afraid I will need you to give me a clue because I cannot guess what it is you are today Donny”, she said.
“A clue?” He was intrigued . He got off the floor and walked to where mom was sitting. “Well, daddy loses it every day and he cannot go to the office without it. So every day he spends a lot of time looking for it. It’s daddy’s very important thing.”
Well, John is always misplacing his keys, that’s for sure thought mom, but Donny specifically said that he is a round blue thing. Keys are not round, mommy thought.
“I give up Donny. I cannot guess what you are”, she said at last. Even with his clue, she really couldn’t guess what he was pretending to be today.
“Mommy, today I am the little round blue marble on daddy’s keychain. The one he uses to start the car with.” He said this and then he folded his arms feigning anger, or perhaps that was pride on his face?
“Oh my Donny. You had me on that one. I would never in a hundred years have guessed that today you were the little blue marble on daddy’s keychain”, she ruffled his curly hair. “Now it’s mommy’s turn to ask you a question. Why is it that you are a round blue thing today?”
“Because today I am that little blue marble that’s hanging from daddy’s keys. The End”, said Donny. He emphasized the ‘the end’ just like mommy did at the end of every story she read to him.
And with that mommy knew that there was no point in her prodding him for more clarity. Today her son was feeling like a little blue thing that was very important to his daddy. It was no use trying to play detective or psychologist. Kids know what they know.