A Foot By Any Other Name (Still Doesn’t Smell Sweet)

By: Abby Plambeck

Did you ever have an imaginary friend? I met mine in the sandbox when I was 4, and named her Tiki. Since Tiki and I spent so much time together, I assumed I was an expert on imaginary friends, but my 4 year old has outdone me by finding two of them. She has named her feet. The right one is Ter and the left one is Ker. Daddy and I frequently mix them up, and even Miss Expert sometimes has to think about which is which, though we’ve learned to not correct her if we notice a slip up.

I had no idea feet could be so helpful in learning good manners and conflict resolution. One day, Ker kicked Ter and Little Miss asked what should be done. I grinned, then realized the opportunity at hand, so advised that Ter could tell Ker that she didn’t like that and to please stop. Unfortunately, Ker was in a naughty mood and kicked again. We decided that deserved a timeout. Poor Miss learned that one foot in timeout meant the rest of her couldn’t go anywhere either, and I’m glad to report that Ker has behaved much better ever since.

Ker and Ter have been members of our family for over a year, and it looks like they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They have a complete wardrobe of doll’s clothes and blankets for napping. They have tea parties and eat pretend cookies. Their dexterity at holding a tea cup without spilling is impressive. I often hear Little Miss chatting happily with her two friends, though she does most of the talking. Ter and Ker often can’t get a foot in edgewise.

As an observant mommy, I notice whenever my kidlets find their creative sides and entertain themselves. Solitude is a skill and a gift, and I’m thrilled to have a Little Miss be so adept in it at age 4. Such things lay a foundation of self-awareness and confidence, which will allow her to always put her best foot forward. 🙂

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jrm
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 22:34:28

    I guess Ker and Ter have a toehold on her heart strings as well as yours.


  2. Annette Rey
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 21:18:57

    Abby, Once again, you have risen to the occasion of recognizing an opportunity to teach your children major lessons in life. I am always amazed at the talent you have for relating on their age level. You really could be a professional consultant/guide in parenting. Wonderful vignette!


    • abbyplambeck
      Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:16:50

      Thank you, Annette! I’m off to pick up the kids now, and bet your words will remind me to keep my temper in those moments when I don’t relate to their age level! 😉


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