Conversations with Delaney: The Shadows That Live In Her Window

Most nights I sit next to each girl on their respective beds and spend a minute or two (sometimes 10 or 20) talking about their day and whatever else they want to talk about. Stink turned 4 a week and a half ago and her imagination has been growing by leaps and bounds these past several months. Lately she’s been mentioning The Shadow during our evening chats, and sometimes at nap time. I’ve been encouraging her to talk about The Shadow so I can try to understand more about what’s going through that head of hers.

Last night we had a particularly interesting conversation about The Shadow. Some of the things we talked about I already knew, others were revelations for me.┬áIt turns out, there is not 1 shadow, but 2. Here’s what I now know about The Shadows:

  • Originally, the stories consisted of 1 shadow with 1 eye.
  • There are now apparently 2 shadows that live in her window – well, actually they live in her blinds. (Her words, “not in the window, actually they’re in the blinds”.)
  • The Shadows’ names are 1 Eye and 2 Eyes.
  • 1 Eye is mean.
  • The reason 1 Eye is mean is “2 Eyes ate his other eye”. (My suspicion is that she really means 1 Eye is mad, not mean, but I’m not sure she understands the difference yet.)
  • The Shadows don’t sleep – they just close their eyes a little bit (emphasized by the pinching together of the thumb and forefinger along with squinting of her eyes).
  • The Shadows wake her up at ┬ánight, especially if there’s thunder.
  • Mostly they leave her alone. They don’t really scare her, they just “bother” her.

I find this stage of childhood development absolutely fascinating. You know they’re forming interesting thoughts and trying to figure things out but can’t quite find the right words to express themselves. When Stink doesn’t know (or forgot) the right word to express what she means she gets this quizzical look on her face, tilts her head a little and says, “What dat word again?” or “How you say dat word?” There are times I don’t have the slightest idea WHAT she’s trying to express, so I have to guess. Sometimes I guess right, sometimes I don’t. Her choice of phrases can be quite entertaining, such as, “Mommy, I very want to [insert activity – eat, watch TV, play, etc.].”

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