Ghosta, as envisioned by Knox

June 28, 2023–“Ghostie did it.”

My 4-year-old grand has come up with a handy hack for avoiding blame, getting out of boring chores, and explaining mysterious happenings in the house.

You see, he has an invisible friend–Ghostie.

For someone no one can see, Ghostie is amazingly present.

My grand brought his bicycle to me, with a bungie cord wrapped around the rear wheel.

“What happened?” I asked.

Without pause, he said, “Ghostie did it.”

When it was time to pick up his toys in his room, he continued playing. Ignoring our repeated admonishments to pick up, he explained in 4-year-old logic, “Ghostie got the toys out.”

Besides being very active, Ghostie likes to eat, especially candy and cupcakes. Because when Mom asks who ate the Tootsie Pops, well, Ghostie did.

How brilliant! We all need a friend like Ghostie. Someone to take the blame for everything we did.

I’m not sure why Ghostie wants to hang around with someone who blames him endlessly. But I guess in that invisible realm, it just feels good to be seen and recognized by a sentient being. Even if it only happens when you’re in trouble.

From my standpoint, dealing with Ghostie is a parenting challenge. How do you get a kid to undo a mess caused by an imaginary friend.

Thinking I’d be clever, I turned the tables on him.

“Who messed up our projects?” the kids yelled upon entering the playroom, which had been all picked up and put away.

Me: That’s our other grandkid that was here.
Kids: Pause
Me: You remember… his name is Ghostie.
Kid: Huh uh. Ghostie didn’t come here. He stayed home today.

Outsmarted again.

Since Ghostie’s appearance, we are learning he has a family. His sister, Ghosta, is apparently less of a troublemaker than her brother. But she is handy for taking the blame when the kids are not at home.

After smirking at the idea of an imaginary friend, I must admit I am now considering the benefits of inviting a friendly ghost into my own life. You can never be accused of drinking alone. Meet GhostPapa, I can say. He likes scotch. 8-year-old scotch. He’s from England. He laughs at my jokes.

GhostPapa is real and follows me everywhere. The other night while I was shopping in the Kerrville H-E-B, GhostPapa knocked a loaf of bread onto the floor. Then, in the parking lot, he shoved my empty cart into the side of an F-150.

When I was checking out of the Best Western in Mineral Wells last spring, GhostPapa pushed the luggage cart down the drive out into the middle of Hwy 180. Thank goodness the driver stopped while I retrieved it, while GhostPapa smirked at the side of the road.

Then there was that church reception, when GhostPapa passed gas during the quiet part of the prayer.

There are already signs that the Ghostie phase of growing up is waning. Lately, our little one has mentioned that Ghostie “doesn’t exist” (thank you, big sister), but he doesn’t say it with conviction. I believe Ghostie is still cavorting in a 4-year-old’s imagination alongside figments Santa, the Easter Bunny, and GhostPapa who never denies him dessert.