Some kids have invisible friends.
Ranger, he has an invisible pet snail.
It all started when we stopped at the post office to turn in passport papers for LB (we hope to see Niagara from the Canadian side this summer). I happen to have noticed a group (Pack? Herd? School? Family?) of snails sunning on a wall on a prior trip and was eager to show them to Ranger.
He was as excited as any three year old could be.
We noted that the snails were not a uniform color, and wondered how baby snails looked (fun fact, snails lay eggs!)
I helped him hold his hand still enough to get a snail to crawl up.
He gasped and said, "mommy this is SO awesome!"
Ding! Mommy points for me! Only eleventy billion more until I level up!
He was so taken with these snails that he did not want to go to the playground! While waiting for some snails to "wake up" Ranger found an empty snail shell. Since I was adamant he was not to take any snails home (away from their families! - even though I distinctly remember doing just that as a kid), he was excited I let him take the shell.
Afterward the shell was held as a prized treasure. And every now and then Ranger would announce that the snail was coming out. On the way home he told me the snail wanted ice cream with sprinkles, and could we go to the store to get mr snail some ice cream with sprinkles so mr snail would be happy?
Thankfully mr snail was able to "get some rest" and was available for "play" just before bed. We have a cheap plastic slide that is currently inside (usually on the balcony) and wouldn't you know mr snail wanted to ride with Ranger on the slide. When reminded that the shell was fragile, Ranger put the shell in its own spot on our door storage system.
Even though leaving the doors open would allow a certain little brother access to the train table, Ranger insisted the doors be open so mr snail could watch all the fun.