I’ve never been a big fan of imaginary friends. Probably because they are freaking terrifying. I’ve seen The Shining, The Exorcist, and The Amityville Horror enough times to know that if your kid starts talking to the empty seat at the breakfast table you should probably just buy your family all one-way tickets to Tijuana and throw a match on your house as you pull out of the driveway.
Much to my dismay, Ellie introduced me to her imaginary friend a few days ago. He is a shark. His name is Shark. I told Nick it was creeping me out and he said we only have to worry if she starts talking to someone named Mr. Peepers or Stabby. I’m mainly scared of waking up in the middle of the night to some creepy pervy ghost licking my toes or spying on me while I get dressed or something. Though truth be told that would be way scarier for the ghost.
Anyway, I’ve read that imaginary friends are a safe way for kids to express their true feelings. If that is true we’re screwed because Shark is a selfish jerk. He carries a purse, prefers the best seat on the couch and comments regularly on Mommy’s belly fat.
I mean, I get that this is all a normal, healthy stage of development. Or Schizophrenia. Either way I don’t like it one bit. I’m a big weenie when it comes to scary things. I have to turn my head away for 60% of The Wizard of Oz. I always run up the basement steps like the wind because I’m sure there’s a werewolf hot on my tail. And my daughter telling me an invisible Shark is watching me while I’m reading gives me the heebies big time.
Part of me just wants to make a big plate of fish for dinner one night and, as she’s eating, tell her that Shark was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he’s never coming back so stop talking to him. But I don’t know what can really screw her up mentally at this age and I don’t want to play with fire.
Plus I can’t cook fish for shit.