Sometime over the past two weeks, onechan and her 3-to-4-year-old friends have begun playing with time--or perhaps they have been for awhile, and I've only just noticed it. What I mean is, they'll put time in their role-playing games in fast forward, so they can extend their game over many play "days," with many nap times, sleep times, and going to school times in a single play session. So let's say we're playing PowerPuff Girls, and I'm the Professor, Imoto's Buttercup, Onechan's Bubbles, and one of their friends is Blossom, and it's night time, so we all have to go to sleep on the toy box, the little table, and the piano stool, but then her friend announces it's morning--time to go to school--and soon later, onechan chimes in that it's nap time, and pretty soon it's time to go to sleep again. The idea that they don't have to play in real time is an exciting one to them.
Imoto plays right along. When it's time to lie down, she lies down; when it's time to get up, she gets up. She seems to be entering a new phase in her relation with onechan, where she's much more aware of what her sister is doing and wants to do it herself. This extends, as well, to what onechan has. So if onechan gets seconds at dinner, imoto wants more food, too, even if she hasn't finished what's on her plate. And of course she wants whatever onechan is drinking. She's very observant: just the other day, onechan was having a big stuffed animal hang onto the handle of her toy stroller so that it was "helping" her push it, so within 10 minutes (after onechan had gone on to another toy/activity), there was imoto, doing the same thing with a smaller stuffed animal.
The changes should be coming fast and furious in 2008; it's been fun documenting some of them here and at Mostly Harmless over the past year.