This past weekend, as I was putting diapers in the launder for a wash I spied the girl out of the corner of my eye pretending to ride a horse, using a clothes hanger as her horse. She yelled giddy'up horsey! And proceeded to gallop her horse around the basement, and as she did this memories of my own childhood crystallized in my mind.
My grandmother, Mary Lou -made me my own horsey out of an old broom stick and a tube sock stuffed with batting. It had eyes, nose, ears, a mane, and a bridle. Oh, how I loved that horsey. And I remember fighting over it with my cousin Jim to use it when I visited the farm. I rode that horsey all around the farm using my imagination. We won olympic medals in dressage, and the 3-day event. We won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont - my horsey was faster than Secretariat! Memories.
So I asked the girl if she'd like her own horsey. She said YES! We took a tube sock and stuffed it with plastic shopping bags because that's all we had to stuff the sock. Then I attached the horsey's head to the little broom the girl got last summer to sweep like daddy. Then we sat down and made a nose, eyes, ears and a mane with a permanent marker. The girl promptly named her horsey "Neigh".
Now the girl has her own style - she's got her own ideas about what a cowboy is or isn't. She's placing her personal style cowboy. She's actually a cowboy who rides horses and hunts for dinosaur bones!
I've got the best cowboy hat!
I'm a cowboy with a flair for style!
(She's wearing her T-Rex Shirt from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History)
After a long day on the range hunting dinosaur bones!
I love that her imagination is taking hold of everyday house hold items and she's developing it in her play. The hat is mine, but I haven't been allowed to wear it since she discovered it. It is now her cowboy hat!
Here the girl is getting ready for a ride out on the range! I'm hoping its enjoyable, even though its going to be hard work!
Boy, that Bronco sure is feisty!
Yehaw! Giddy Up! Neigh!
What I find amazing in all of this, is I did the same thing! There must be something genetic that is making her Horse crazy! Especially, since she's thinking up this play all on her own. I'll continue to encourage it, because it keeps her away from Disney princesses that set a bad example for little girls: if your pretty enough, a handsome man will sweep you off your feet and take care of you the rest of your life...well life isn't like that.
So keep on being a cowboy! Keep building an interest in horses and dinosaurs. And continue to use your imagination and build your own world of play little girl, enjoy the outside, enjoy the inside and cultivate your mind. The world is yours to imagine!