Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Telling His Story

Connecting Families through Creative Play: Storytelling

Elijah is a born storyteller.  And although we have, of late, gotten further into the imaginary realm through pretend play, most of his stories involve him as the main character, surrounded by a highly detailed accounting of events that he has experienced.  For example, he was singing "Yellow Submarine" yesterday, and Kurt asked him where he had heard that song.  Elijah's answer?  "We saw the music at the market with Sam and the lady had a red guitar." Good memory?  Yes.  But, it was reinforced by the fact that for the rest of the day after we saw the music at the market with Sam and the lady with the red guitar, Elijah retold the experience nine-hundred and eleven times.  Or so. 

His favorite way to tell stories is in question-and-answer format.   For  the picture above, for example, the story goes something like this:

Elijah: Who did I see?

Listener: Who did you see?

E: Grandpa Won (Ron). What did I eat?

L: What did you eat?

E: Pancakes.  I ate a lot of them!  Then where did I go?

L: Where did you go?

E: Grandpa Won's house.  What did I play?

L: What did you play?

E. The piano!  It was really loud. 

And so on...

I believe that in New Yorker parlance, this is called "long form journalism".  Conversations like this generally happen several times a day.  If an event is particularly memorable, it will live on in Elijah's stories for weeks.  Just ask him about the time Daddy pulled down the big tree branch outside. 

It's probably about time that I put together a photo book for my storytelling boy so that he can have some visual accompaniment to his tales.  He needs something to hold him over until he has the fine motor skills to start writing his memoirs. 

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