Oh, this child and his imagination.
For a few months now, Gavin's had some imaginary friends. Five imaginary friends actually, though lately, one has been sick and "at the hospital." He calls them "my army mens," and could care less how many times I try to explain that "men" is already plural and doesn't require an "s." Go figure.
Their individual names change while their collective "army mens" title stays consistent. I've heard Fred and Simbia (pronounced Sym-bee-ah) most often, but no matter what he calls them, they've become members of our everyday routine.
They're mostly "good guys" but in Gavin's own words: "Sometimes they like to be bad guys."
If we leave the house, his "army mens" have to follow us, usually in their "super-fast race cars." Sometimes they even beat us to our destination.
When we're eating, they sometimes need a place at the table, though it's ironically only one place (they must be the tiny, Toy-Story-sized army men).
If he gets into trouble, he'll often blame it on his fictitious friends, saying something like, "Well...my army mens say it's okay," or "But my army mens want to watch TV!"
When we read books before bed, I cannot just lie down anywhere...lest I unleash a tearful protest that I've "squished" his friends.
He's asked for some "real army mens" for Christmas. You know..."the kind that talk like in Toy Story." I have a feeling that a they're-just-pretend explanation might not work in this case. Wish me luck.