Thursday, September 6, 2007

Caroline loves a good story.

I think I can attribute a lot of this to the fact that she has heard us tell each other stories about her probably for as long as she can remember and definitely way before we thought she was listening.

But I think it is also due in large part to the fact that any time she would spend the night with my family she would get a story out of Ama (my mom), who always told pretty good ones. My mom used to tell Addy and Libby stories about when she was little and the minute she was finished with one, they would say, "tell us another." So she'd tell another, and another, and another . . . until she couldn't remember anymore, at least not that night. Once their requests had nearly depleted the childhood memory reservoir, she went to making up stories about them, in code names, and they loved these as well. She now tells these stories to Caroline on visits when Caroline is getting the extra special I-know-I-can-ask-for-a-whole-lot-and-get-it -because-I-am-with-you-guys bedtime routine.

Lately, though, Caroline is asking for stories at all times of day. It may be at bedtime or it may be right after she thinks she noticed some "story" in something you just said. Like last night at supper she said that we should go fishing and catch a fish and then eat it for dinner. I knew exactly where this came from--an episode of Caillou in which his grandpa takes him fishing. I told Caroline that my grandpa used to take me fishing.

"When you were a little girl?"
"Will you tell me another story, Mommy?"

Wait a minute, did I just tell a story?

Tonight after Dan got home from work (Jeff's brother Dan and his wife are living with us until they close on their new house), he said that traffic was terrible on the way home and he mentioned briefly that at one point he thought a cop was going to pull him over but didn't. When he was finished with this news, Caroline asked, "Could you tell another story, Dan?"

It seems she hangs on every word of what--to us--is very mundane conversation. I think it's cute and I actually just read something last night in Raising Lifelong Learners that stressed how important it is for language development that children have opportunity for conversation and shared stories. It suggested building storytime and conversation ritual into each day and I like the thought of that. The only thing is, I'm sure that as soon as I arrange for a one-on-one sit-down conversation and have Caroline on my lap she'll just look at me excitedly and say, "Do you wanna play I Spy?"

Anyway, all of this leads me to another idea. If any of you have stories to tell, please share. You could send them to her in an email--how convenient. Obviously, they needn't be extraordinary--tell her about your drive home from work or something. :)

(And, Mama/Addy/Libby, I would like some of those Quay and Boppity-Bop stories written out, please. Make it a "projec." Love you.)

(And Aunt K--I'm sure you could come up with some great stories of when you and Ama were little. Love you too.)

1 comment:

  1. Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a house with a lot of big people. She was the youngest, and needed a constant companion lest she become lonely. Some mornings, she would wake to find that some of the big people had already left for work and to find thier fortunes in the world. She would then go looking for the less ambitions of the bigger people. When she found a big peson lying on the bed, she would begin to find ways to rouse this sleepy big person. She would nudge, then poke, then begin to dramatically cry and say, "The big mama is gone and the big daddy is gone, and the big grandma is sleeping, get up big sleeping girl." The big sleeping girl only wanted to sleep, but when she saw those watery, big brown eyes pleading, she could not deny her a companion. She go up and they began the most wonderful friendship that lasted all their lives. Because all big people should remember they were little, and a bit dramatic at one time or another...