When you're 4, and the third girl in a four-daughter household, you might be tempted to retire into shy introspection.
Or you might be a complete drama queen in a bid to capture some territory, noisewise.
But what to do when all the friends belong to your older and infinitely cooler sisters and all the oohs and aahs for the moment are received by your chubby-adorable baby sister?
What to do?
In the case of Grace Hannah, you go big or go home. She has recently introduced us to her friends, all ten of them. They are represented, interestingly enough, by her fingers. All of the boys' names end in "o" and all the girls' names end in "a." This is very Romance Language of her, I think.
The boys all live on her left and the girls all live on her right. They have individual personalities and attributes. She can tell you about them in detail (and trust me, your head would spin). My favorite is her left index finger. His name is Chacho, and he is "very, very naughty." How naughty, you ask, because you can't wait to hear? "He picks noses."
I had brief brushes with imaginary friendship as a child. I remember conjuring a girl named Annie when my stubborn parents wouldn't take me to town to see real children and my brother (I first typed "bother," but there's nothing to that Freud stuff, I'm certain) was too busy selling tickets to "see the biggest bird turd in the world" (aka a spilled can of white paint in the woods) to play with me. Ten cents. That's how much he earned per visitor. Why wouldn't he rather play with me? Why?
Anyway Annie would play with me all day long. But I didn't have a tenth of Gracie's imagination (One-tenth. Hah hah.); my Annie was notably similar to, you know, Broadway's Annie. Red curly hair, orphaned, a great singer. She liked to read with me under the big maple trees. But a lot of time I'd forget her out there.
Not Grace. She takes her friends with her everywhere we go. She whispers her observations to them when Maddy and Sarah won't listen. It's a very attentive crowd.