I had this weird thought on my way to bed the other night. I was cold and I had wrapped a blanket around my waist to keep warm. I found myself automatically sashaying between the bathroom and the bedroom and I pretending I was a princess on her way to get her valuable beauty sleep. In my head I was about to climb on a mountain of mattresses and find a frog at the top. My way of walking changed from the walk of a regular 21st-century person to the walk of a Disney princess. Mid-sashay I stopped to think about what I was doing. I hadn’t had the urge to do that for over thirty years (most likely more). When did I lose the desire to drape myself in blankets and pretend to be royalty?
Another game I was fond of was twisting myself in a curtain until the space got smaller and smaller and smaller, then untwisting again. When is the last time I did that? I really couldn’t say.
I also enjoyed standing on my head (for hours) and pretending that the house was upside down. In this land you had to step into rooms and you slept on the ceiling. I did briefly stand on my head a few weeks ago but I haven’t played the ‘pretend everything is upside down’ game for many years. (A variety of this game is imaging that what is seen in a mirror is the real world and you are the reflection.)
At what point did I lose this ability to play with just my imagination and home furnishings? I also liked making dens behind the settee and pretending the house was a magical land ruled by giants.
As well as living with giants, I liked to lie in bed in the morning and pretend my knees under the blankets were hills and I was the giant of the land. An earthquake could easily be provoked by the need to shift position. The ‘little people’ didn’t like that. I would warn them not to anger me.
Now I am a grown up, I hardly ever prance around the house draped in sheets looking for Prince Charming and as for standing on my head, the last time I tried that a photo was uploaded to Facebook and subsequently I was regarded as a bit of an oddity. Only eccentric, or drunk, grownups stand on their head. Why shouldn’t grown ups play? Why do we change? When do we become, boring?
I want everyone who reads this to put their phone, computer, or laptop down and go play – play anything, all you need is a house and your head. Be a princess. Live in the mirror. Twist yourself in a curtain – it is fun, I promise.