The perfect pet for preschoolers...bring back the pet rock!

Knee deep in fall bulbs and covered (COVERED!) in dirt I was patting myself on the back this afternoon for cultivating Claire's imagination with lots of fresh air and freedom and unstructured play. She was constructing this elaborate house for Rocky, her pretend friend. Daddy was busy fixing the greenhouse and donated lots of leftover 2x4 bits and a few soft bits of wild onion grass and leaves made a perfect bed...for a rock. Yes, a rock named Rocky...cue the laugh track.

My self congratulations turned to abrupt giggles when I realized my imaginative daughter was playing with this small boulder, cooing to it even. And yes, I know that's imagining and all but I just couldn't help cracking cracking up at the name and the elaborate house building and the storyline of her pet.

It was almost as funny as Claire and her little girlfriends giving birth to dolls (through their collars mind you) at a recent play date.

I can't help but wonder if the whole pet rock craze back in the day was dreamt up by some busy parent who left their bored children alone one afternoon to come up with their own fun. In that case, I'm patenting sticks, pine-cones and pennies because they keep my tyke endlessly amused.

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