Rulamuna for Michaela. Cindy for Isabela, and now she's got Pippi Lam. These are the names of my kids' fantasy friends.
Michaela introduced Rulamuna to us when she was two years old. As she was an only child until Isabela arrived middle of 2004, we were used to her playing and talking to herself. Until one day, she simply said, Rulamuna sits there.
I asked her to repeat it, as Rulamuna is not a common name. She said her friend, Rulamuna, is sitting with us for dinner. We went along. As with fantasy friends, Rulamuna gets blamed for almost everything that went amiss or something done that we dont really approve of. But Rulamuna was also taken and driven everywhere, gets to eat with us most of the time, and of course, she gets to play with Michaela day and night. Nope, Rulamuna isnt allowed to stay and sleep in, simply because, Michaela is also not yet allowed to do the same.
She continued playing with Rulamuna, even though she joined kindergarten when she was three years old. Having playmates didnt lessen Rulamuna's visits. Sometimes, when she tells her playmates that Rulamuna is there, they just ignore her. Or sometimes, they tell her that she is not true. But Michaela doesnt care. For her, Rulamuna exists. She even knows where she lives. She sees the car and the mom and dad of Rulamuna all over.
When Isabela, her younger sister learned to speak when she was a year old, she got to meet Rulamuna. They both got to play with her. But the problem is, Isabela wants to play alone with Rulamuna, too. There were fights and tears. If Rulamuna is real, her arms would have been bruised and scratched for the pulls given by the kids.
Then Michaela had an inspiration to give Isabela another fantasy friend. She called her Cindy. Cindy joined them when Isabela was two years old. And now they have Rulamuna for Michaela, and Cindy for Isabela. When they both play, you get to hear both names repeatedly mentioned. But they also have Lisa, Lila, Vivi, etc. - many other colorful names that I sometimes cant say or spell.
Isabela was introduced to the character Pippi Longstocking this February. And is since then so obsessed with her, that you cant hardly hear Cindy being mentioned anymore. As for Rulamuna, when her Papa asks her about her fantasy friend, Michaela just kept on saying that she's still on vacation.
These fantasy friends are so real for them. But, until when?