It wasn't too long ago that Romy and I were sitting in Chick-fil-A with her "bottle-noise dolphin/humpback whale" (she used those two terms interchangeably to refer to a giant purple killer what that Joe won for her at Sea World) and a lady who worked there asked Rosemary if her whale wanted a chicken nugget. Romy looked at her completely seriously with her deadpan face and said "it's not real." At the time I could only laugh, but I soon realized that she took everything seriously and had no concept of make-believe. Thinking how sad it was that she didn't know how to make her dolls have a tea party or pretend that she was a princess trapped in a castle waiting for Prince Charming to come rescue her, I simply said to her one day, after she told me that her Little Mermaid doll wasn't real and therefore wasn't hurt when she was flung across the room by an angry toddler, that we can pretend that she is real. Apparently she was just waiting to be told that it's okay to play make-believe because right after I told her that, she told me that she was baby Ariel and I was mommy Ariel and daddy was Prince Eric. This particular charade went on for at least a week. I fed baby Ariel dinner. We waited for Prince Eric to get home from work. Baby Ariel had to keep her tail clean at bath time. We eventually moved on to the other princesses, each capturing her imagination in the same fascinating way. Currently, we' ve been playing lots of Shrek. I'm Princess Fiona, Rosemary is baby Shrek, and daddy is the dragon. When I took this picture today, Rosemary told me the beads were from the Crystal Kingdom (a reference to a book we have about Dora the Explorer). She begins every meal we eat together by saying "Thank you for coming to my princess tea party" and will not let me eat until "all the guests have arrived" after which we must then all take the first bite at the same time. I find it shocking that it was less than a year ago that her idea of playing with her princess dolls was to line them up and count them. Now those same dolls spend their time running away from dragons and pondering which dress they are going to wear today. I was once sure that my daughter was going to take after her father and become an accountant. But now I can only imagine that she is going to be on stage accepting her Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Sleeping Beauty. And to think I used to worry that she had no imagination. I guess she just needed a little encouragement.