15 July 2010

Imaginary Friends

Do any of your children have imaginary friends?

I think Presley does, although it is not entirely clear. He's recently started talking about an Uncle Dinky.

I read, in 'The Philosophical Baby' by Alison Gopnik, that pre-school children with imaginary friends are normal. She says it's nothing to worry about. So why do I feel uneasy about Uncle Dinky?

For a start he has a silly name. I mean, it sounds like the kind of name a man would give to his penis, as in 'Uncle Dinky's coming out to play'. Sorry, I made myself shudder typing that.

Anyway, back to the real Uncle Dinky, or should I say the imaginary Uncle Dinky.

This is what we know about him/it:

Uncle Dinky has ten eyes, three arms and four legs.
Uncle Dinky wears a black t-shirt with a monkey on it.
Uncle Dinky eats sandwiches, sometimes jam and sometimes marmite.
Uncle Dinky lives in the garage or the door.

Presley giggles coyly whenever Uncle Dinky is mentioned but refuses to draw him. The drawing above is Presley's first attempt at drawing a person and definitely not Uncle Dinky. I love the way the so-called smiley mouth is a straight line.

Perhaps the reason I am worried is Presley's answer to the question 'What does Uncle Dinky say?'.
His answer was 'Bongo bongo bongo bongo bongo bongo bong'.




I haven't set an extra place at the table yet, although I imagine it is only a matter of time.




  1. Glad to meet Uncle Binky - I don't know if its only preschoolers though. Bel 6 has several..Roger (who varies in age - also worrying as she can't say her R's so Roger = Wodger!!, Ghosty (normally lives at grandparents house!), Roger's mummy and daddy and girlfriend...

  2. This had me absolutely in fits of laughter. Brilliant. Don't you just love the freaky workings of the toddler/preschool mind?

    As one of those children whose mother used to set the table for my imaginary friend, I cannot but think they are an indiation of good imagination and fine mental health. :)

  3. Maybe it's a Ghost ;-) Chick started with an imaginary friend but now has a whole imaginary school class that follows her everywhere!!!! Takes ages to get in and out of the car!

  4. Are you sure you're not bugging my house? Lola and Lotta (and apparently also occasionally Charlie, Marv and (new character this) Lotta's baby) came to stay yesterday evening. They all slept in L's bedroom, on bunkbeds, and I said a solemn goodnight to them assuming that they'd be gone in the morning. But no. They came to Tesco's with us this morning (note to self, never do Tesco's with all three again, online is MUCH easier), and swimming this afternoon. They refused to drink their milk at supper, enjoyed Peppa Pig (although Charlie and Lola would have been somewhat postmodern wouldn't it?!) and had their freshly washed hair brushed with a white brush (Lotta) and a pink brush (Lola).

    I'm going along with a policy of benign ignoring... if I'm asked about them I'll acknowledge their presence but I've not (yet) mentioned them unless she has first. Where I've dredged that advice up from I have no idea, but I'm not worried about them.... other than that, surely, if she were going to have a Lauren Child inspired imaginary friend(s) shouldn't Soren Lorenson have got a look in?!

    Looking forward to more stories about Uncle Dinky soon...!

  5. Ah yes, The Teenager has an imaginery friend for a long time when she was young. Elsie her name was, and she came for tea quite a lot I seem to remember, I used to have to set a place for her and it was always her birthday too, so we'd have a (small) cake with candles too. The Teenager remembers talking about Elsie. God know where that name came from, but it's all normal stuff Sandy. Calm down girl. x

  6. My eldest two (now burly and sullen teens)had an imaginary friend called Robin...they described him in detail and yeah, he used to do naughty stuff as imaginary friends normally do..so far so good..then one night after both boys had started to complain about Robin, they both became hysterical and said they were scared of him! They were??? I nearly cacked myself...I got rid of him on advice from a parenting forum by trapping him in a box, which I stuffed inside another box, then a bag then he got shoved out for the bin men to take...weird taking a bag full of nothing out to the bin but it exorcised him for them...freaky huh?

  7. Strange thing. I'm sure he'll grow out of it.

  8. when my, now 20 year old son, was about 3 he had an imaginary pigeon... yes you read right.. a pigeon. He would walk around with his arm held out to the side so the pigeon could perch on it at all times. this made getting in the car and going through doorways very difficult. the worst of it was, one time getting into the car, the pigeon flew off his arm just before I closed the car door. My son was inside and his imaginary pigeon was outside flying around trying to get back to him. I had to open the car door and let the pigeon fly back onto my son's arm perch! another time we were out and he was mortified.. he'd forgotten the pigeon and wanted me to go back home for it!! I told him it was sleeping quietly and really shouldn't be woken up. Thankfully he grew out of it quite quickly.

  9. maxi never had any, but Mini has Dave and Bev the half inside out people from the hight street and yes you were worry about your boy!!

  10. I had an imaginary friend who I always blamed when I was in trouble!!

  11. My girl had a whole gang of imaginary mousies. She would push them on the swings and play with them. But they seem to have disappeared in the last few months.

    I think it is pretty normal. It is finding that line between real and imagination.

  12. I did a post on M's imaginary friend Charlie....he is quite convincing when he talks about him although I've noticed in the last couple of months he doesn't talk about him quite so much. I've heard it's a sign of intelligence. ;0) xx

  13. Wee Z has a few imaginary friends. All characters though from TV. He's friends with Little Einsteins, the Numberjacks and Daniel from Tommy Zoom. I love their imagination but with this comes nightmares! Wee Z has been having loads of nightmares recently, such a shame.

  14. If you ever get the chance, read Cecelia Ahern's If You Could See Me Know. It's a beautiful story about imaginary friends.
    My friend's daughter had a friend called Charlie who one day just disappeared. When asked about Charlie's whereabouts, Leonie answered: 'he just died'.
    Kids. Weird folks...

  15. PS: Love the picture of Mr Potato Head :)

  16. Oh yes. Geekygirl has two, Leah and Beah . Beah is from India, and Leah has two mummies! It's fascinating stuff! Uncle dinky sounds intriguing, I agree the name is a bit creepy!

  17. I've blogged about Top Enders friends, she has a husband (who has a rather large extended family and they get up to a lot of different adventures) of course when I was young I didn't hae any imaginery friends. Well apart from Spider Man who sat on the roof of our car and a girl who use to run along side the car jumping on lamp posts and fences!

    Its all quite normal and I do believe that it shows a creative side and I have turned out fairly normal...

    I almost forgot we also have a troop of invisible monkeys and two dogs.

  18. BNM, I think Wodger is hilarious!

    EmmaJaneR, sadly I never had imaginary friends so I don't know what that means for my intelligence or mental health!

    Emma, it does look like a ghost! I LOL'd at how long it takes to get in and out of the car!

    Plan B, oh that's hilarious! It's spooky though, I was at the supermarket on the day you commented and I wondered what it would be like if either of the boys were twins. How on earth do you manage at the supermarket?!

    Not Supermum, okay, I'm calm, it seems I am not alone! :-)

  19. Rachel, that is seriously freaky! Great idea to get rid of them though. I'll remember that one!

    Mwa, apparently they do!

    Annie, that is a seriosly brilliant story. I can just see the arm out for the pigeon. Made me chuckle! :-)

    The Mad House, these comments are so funny. I am sooo not worried about P now! ;-)

    JFB57, aha! We haven't had that yet, I'll look out for it!

  20. Capital Mom, how strange! I'm actually not worried, it seem pretty normal!

    Nova, I'll have to go back and have a look! I'm sure it must mean super intelligence!! ;-)

    Laura, how funny! Yes, P has had a few nightmares, none recently though, thank goodness!

    Met Mum, awww, that's really sad, poor Charlie. It does look like Mr Potato head! :-)

    Geeky Mummy, it's amazing how many children do have imaginary friends!

    Mummy, how could you forget the monkeys and the dogs?! Mind you, you do seem to have rather a lot!! :-)


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