Lately, as I get Cecilia ready for her nap, I will lay on her bed and she likes to fall and squirm on top of me on my back. This started when my back was sore and I didn't want to kneel as much before getting her to sleep but it has continued.
When she would land on my back, I would tease with groaning sounds beneath such a "heavy" weight and say things like: "Who is that? Who's back there?" which would usually be responded to with giggles and laughter. She still laughs and giggles but now she answers me and not with her name. She says, "Elephant!" Now, I checked, and neither James, Grandpa nor I have made such a suggestion to her. She, all on her own it seems, recognized me pretending that some great animal was climbing on me and, playing along and deciding a big animal must be a heavy animal, chose to pretend to be an elephant.
Me: An Elephant?
Me: What color elephant?
(She doesn't know gray yet, so blue is a good answer)
Me: What is the name of the elephant?
Me: The name of the Elephant is Elephant?
While she did not create a name for the elephant, I am very impressed. Her cognitive skills to deduce an elephant is heavy based on its size and movement and her ability to name blue as a color for an elephant when she does not know gray are no small task. Her imaginative skills impressed me as well. I never asked what animal she was or told her to pretend to be anything. (If anything I was trying to get her to say her name which she refuses to do.) She knew I was pretending that she was heavy so she took it upon herself not just to pretend to be heavy but to pretend to be something she reasoned would be heavy: an elephant. It is wonderful when her imagination can surprise even her mom.