Polly is four years old. She lives in a flat in the city centre, with her mother and father. Although the apartment isn’t that big, she has her own room.
However, Polly shares that room with several others: a big stuffed dog called Hugo, and various normal-size soft toys — Betty the sheep, Michael the monkey, two cats, three different-coloured teddy bears, and three dolls (each with a stroller, a cot, a carrier, and a large chest of clothes).
Four toy cars also live in her room, as well as a yellow rubbish truck, a hairy-wolf figurine, a plastic caterpillar, a box of wooden blocks, a LEGO set, a wooden rainbow that can be disassembled and put back together again, two bouncy balls, and a wooden train set that takes up the entire room when assembled.
Then there are marbles, a kids’ doctor kit, a kitchenette, a xylophone, a trumpet, a rocking horse, and loads of assorted books. All of these things live with Polly in her bedroom.
Polly loves her small room. It is her paradise. Well, sometimes a paradise, sometimes a train station or a zoo, and sometimes a beach by the sea or a dolls’ nursery. The room could become literally anything that enters Polly’s mind. And she could really come up with some interesting scenarios.
What she did not like doing, though, is tidying up her room. Sometimes she just didn’t feel like it, and it would soon become a huge mess. But Polly didn’t mind the mess. “Why do I have to put things back in place at the end of every day?” she’d complain. “If I leave them on the floor, I can play with them again tomorrow.”
But when the mess became extra big, Polly didn’t have enough…