Many of our readers probably remember Freddie the Frog, who came to stay with us for a weekend about a year ago. Freddie has now retired after receiving “too much love” (in the words of Everett’s teacher) and Franklin has taken his place. Franklin came home with us on the bike last Friday and has been a constant companion since then. Saturday morning he watched Olivia and then went with us on a bike adventure to the Zoo, where we rode the train and saw a few animals, then lunch and the hippo playground. On Sunday morning we went for another ride to pickup photo prints of Everett and Franklin’s adventures so that we would write in the travel journal before we return to preschool on Monday morning. Here are some samples.

Everett has many stuffed animals. Each of them, including Franklin, gives us a better understanding of his inner world as he describes their experiences. Franklin is clearly a guest and gets treated to the best that our family has to offer. Other animals like duck, pig, lamb and chick are permanent residents who are in more of a long-term relationship, like younger siblings. For example, Everett takes them out of the living room during scary movie scenes. It is worth noting that “scary” is his word, not mine, and the threshold for what constitutes scariness could be as subtle as a change in tone of the background music during the Planet Earth documentary. Everett tells us about their individual likes and dislikes, as well as their daily experiences. A few days after we showed him Jupiter in the night sky he started building spaceships so that his animals could fly to it.┬áIt is up to us to guess which experiences are his, which are new ideas he is testing to see how they fit, and which are his imagination. The last of these seems to be the category that is growing most rapidly.

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