Eleanor often role plays where she is Mama and I'm Eleanor. Usually, she is wearing a pair of my shoes, grabs a bag, and heads off to work.
"I'm sorry, honey," she coos, "but I have to go to work."
I stomp my foot. "Why?" I whine. "I want an Eleanor/Mommy Day!"
"I know," she replies soothingly. "We can have an Eleanor/Mommy day tomorrow. But today Aunt E and Gavin and Olivia are coming over."
"Noooo," I argue. "I don't want them to come. I'm not going to have any fun."
"Yes you will," she says. "You'll have a fun time playing with Gavin."
Whenever we switch roles like this, I am always reassured by the fact that she is unfailingly kind, compassionate, and polite. She doesn't yet. She is very concerned about my feelings. One good way to know that she's pretending to be me is that she uses terms of endearment like "honey" and "sweetie" all throughout her speech. She does this when being Mommy on her way to work, Mommy putting Eleanor to bed, Mommy trying to convince Eleanor to get up off that floor, put the book down, and get her shoes on so we can get to the store already.
I'm very happy to know that my irritation and short temper are rather well hidden. If this is how she thinks I feel and act all the time, I'm doing well!
Now, the tone she uses with the animals ... that's a different story.