If you’ve recently spent time away from someone you care about and are worried about an impending reunion, perhaps you’d like some pointers from Veronica and Ivan. My children, separated for four days, have mapped out this approach:
1. Immediately launch into stories of all the marvelous things that have happened to you in the last three days. As soon as the other person finishes talking say, “Oh I wouldn’t even like that. But guess what I did?” You can include really banal things, as long as you are enthusiastic. “Well, I stayed up until 10:00 and ate pudding.” “I don’t even like pudding. I had a CRAZY COOKIE and hurt my foot.” You get the idea.
2. Since you haven’t spent any time together, you’ll want to argue about what to do as soon as you can. In fact, it’s advisable to demand that your reunitee do something they find absolutely boring. Then, when they won’t, say you want to play alone anyway. Point out how bossy they are. You don’t have to say “I haven’t missed you either!” in order to get that point across. During this time employ foot stomping and shouting right into each others ears. Very effective.
3. Choose a common enemy. Nothing unites old chums like a mission of ill will. If you are children, your mother will be a perfect target. Perhaps she has spent 5 hours in the car and has stopped using her nicotine patches. Easy target. While she lies in wait on her bed begging for a moment’s peace, you should poke her, make horrible, nasty faces and laugh hysterically while she tries to read a book. It is important to be resolute in your intentions to irritate her.
4. Finally, with the dragon slayed (or storming around the kitchen making dinner) you can settle in to playing. Plan and host a party for an imaginary friend. Rehearse and perform a concert. Put on your pajamas and spend a lot of time tickling each other, beacuse above all what you have missed is having someone so sit on and tickle until they cry ‘Uncle”.
By now you should be fully re-acclimated. And your parent or guardian, used to caring for only one child, will be thoroughly exhausted. Which means he or she is probably ripe to give you whatever you want. Can you have a popsicle? Yes, of-course. A sleep over in your sister’s room? We’ll see.