Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

Paging Dr. Coconut, we have a Snort shaped orthopaedic emergency.

November 23, 2012

This afternoon I wanted to video an hour of the kids’ play somehow, without totally getting in the way or reminding them I was there. I settled for sitting with my back to them at the table and listening in.

My attention was first drawn when Snort came over to say he needed x rays. Coconut ushered him back towards the play kitchen. He said his knee was broken, and she laid him back gently on the floor and proceeded to give him an x ray with a wooden spoon. While wearing an oven glove as radiation protection.

She then said he needed medicine, so they went to the pharmacy, located at the foot of the stairs. He proceeded to fall and apparently break both arms, so she exclaimed that he needed a wheelchair. They worked together to try out possible wheelchairs and construct one together.

Eventually they made their way back over to the floor area which was designated the hospital. He laid back on the floor, plasters were applied to both arms, and Coconut used her treasured syringe (a crappy blunt end syringe, a real one) to administer pretend medicine. By this point she was wearing her doctor’s coat, surgical mask, and glasses. Snort, of course, was bottomless….which is why I’m not sharing any of the fabulous pictures I did manage to sneak.

Their imaginations, cooperative play, and integrating their real world experiences through storytelling continue to amaze me on deeper levels each day. Both delight in listening to oral stories and telling their own. Snort likes to recreate movie scenes in novel ways. Coconut reads books to me often. They really are creating their own worlds, and they are having so much fun doing so. I look forward to seeing how this play develops as they age, and if their play now casts hints about the adults they will become.

But mostly, I sit quietly, trying to fight my natural urges to take pictures, because in these moments of sitting back and observing, I find much joy.

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Once upon a time…because I DO have something to say.

May 23, 2012

So there we were, walking along the street, and the words popped out of my mouth. ‘Once upon a time….’

I wove words into a simple tale, and got the most gratifying response. ‘More.’

Another story. ‘And more.’

Another. ‘That’s a lovely story, Mama.’ Beaming faces. Intent listening. The urging for my words to keep going, to weave around us in a spell of golden light, to find out what happens next.

And it occured to me – while I have read endless stories to my children, made up millions of songs, I’d never before just said those simple words. Those once-upon-a-time wonders that opened the doors to stories about, well, anything I fancied. My reluntance to tell stories had perhaps hindered me to think about the possibility of creating them for that most brutal, yet loving, of audiences….my very honest children.

So with the words of ‘More, Mama! More stories!’ in my ears, with the memory of my daughter instantly grabbing hold and starting her own ‘once upon a times’ to herself, I sat down to write again.

Pen against paper this time. No straying from what has always been my home, writing for older children and younger adults. My two completed novels, and my half finished novel, are still here in this house. But now there is a new cheapie notebook, lined with my increasingly messy handwriting, filling up with stories the way I told them when I was eight years old. A little at a time, in my own writing, carried around and always ready to record more of what I have to say.