Wait. Who the hell is "Cindy"?

This is the thought that has been occupying my mind the past few days.

It's not what you think....

So, the Dude has a very active imagination.  He always has.  It's awesome, and we never get enough of it, or the stories that he tells from his imagination. 

But something has happened in the past week or so, that has me wondering, and wondering, and wondering.....

The Dude has started talking about "Cindy."

At first we thought he was talking about someone that he had met at some point along the line, but the Dude claims that this is someone he met at work.  Yes, our son always talks about his "job" and about how he has to get ready for work....obviously from listening to me and S.  Alright.  Then Saturday, the Dude talked to S all day while they were out ice fishing, about "Cindy" and the Dude even talked to her on the phone...a rock that he found and picked up and used as a phone...see what I mean about his imagination?  Then Sunday the kiddos spent the day with my parents and when they dropped the kiddos off, mom told me about how the Dude was telling them about "Cindy" and how he works with her.  Alright.

So, Tuesday as I was driving to the grocery store with the kiddos, I started asking the Dude about "Cindy."

"Hey buddy, what does Cindy look like?
"What color is her hair?"
"Lellow."  (hehehehe, he's always said "lellow" )
"Is it long or short?"
"How old is she?"
"She's 4.  She's older than me."
"What kind of clothes does she wear? What does her shirt look like?"
"It has a dinosaur on it."
"That's cool buddy.  Does she wear pants or shorts?"
"She wears shorts."
"Even in the winter?"
"Does Cindy have a mama and daddy like you do?"
"Yup.  But they don't live with us."
"Does Cindy wear glasses?"
"Yup.  She wears glasses like A____."  (his cousin)
"Is she nice to you?"
"Oh yeah, she's nice.  But one time I threw a snowball at her face and she was sad so I wiped it off for her."
"Oh. Well that wasn't nice to throw a snowball at her face, but I'm glad you wiped it off for her."
"Yeah, you only throw snowballs at jackets."
"That's right bud."

That's about where the conversation about "Cindy" ended between me and the Dude.  But that night at supper I told S about all of this and even he got a little weirded out.  So we started asking the Dude more specific questions.

"What color is her dinosaur shirt?"
"It's red."
"What kind of dinosaur is it?"
"It's a T rex."
"What color are her shoes?"
"They're blue."
"Are they sneakers or sandals?"
"They're sneakers."
"Does Cindy wear anything else?"
"Yeah, she wears a headband like mama."
"Does she wear anything under her clothes?"
Yeah, underwear."
"What kind of underwear?"
"Princess underwear."
"Have you kissed Cindy?"
"Yeahhhhh."   (bashful face)

And on and on and on.....yup.  We're two pretty weirded out parents.  S like the jerk he is, said "Yup, our son is talking to a ghost."  Why the hell would he say something like that?  Jeez. 

Our conclusion?  That our son has developed an imaginary friend.  The way that he answers all questions consistently and without any hesitation makes this pretty clear.  The Dude dosn't go to preschool yet, he dosn't have playdates.  We do go to playgroup twice or more a month, but there are no girls there either named "Cindy" or that are even older than him.  I guess the imaginary friend theory is all we can go with.  And where do we go from here?  Continue to get a little weirded out when the Dude talks about her?  Play it up?  Encourage it?  Stop it?  It's funny that when the Dude is playing by himself, I never hear him talk to "Cindy", but S says that he has heard the Dude do this......interesting.

Ohhhhh Cindy, just please don't make my son start insisting that I set an extra plate for you at meal times, ok?

This kind of imaginary friend would be much weirder I guess.  At least "Cindy" sounds like the Dudes kind of chick.....

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