As much as this is a space for me to sort out my thoughts and worries as a parent, it is also a space for me to love and brag on my kids from time to time. Fair warning – I’m about to do the latter!
Last week brought us our second conference at Harrison’s preschool and while we’ve got some work to do on fine motor skills (more on that to come, later), we are so proud of all that he knows and can do at the ripe old age of 3 1/2. We’re also very happy with our choice of preschools and know that HD is flourishing because he gets to do it all there; from reading and singing to climbing and swimming, the Y has been such a good mix for our active and imaginative little guy.
Lately Harrison’s imagination has been going full steam and he’s been all about stories. But then again, he’s always been all about books, even when he was still just a baby. I remember reading book after book after book when he was teeny tiny to help him settle down for sleep. And then later, as part of his pre-nap or night routine – always at least three books and not just simple board books, but long Dr. Seuss and other picture books. Much like Raegan does now, HD used to toddle over to me, chuck the book he’d be carrying in my general direction and then plop in my lap, ready to read anywhere and anytime. For an English major mama, this behavior and love of his has always been a source of pride for me. And now, it makes me so happy whenever I see Harrison paging through a story or asking to someone to read with him, which happens quite often.
So perhaps it is no surprise that Harrison seems to be turning into a bit of a storyteller himself. Well, mostly he is a story director because he is constantly telling me what story to tell him (95% of the time they involve Angry Birds) and he is also constantly telling me, “No, not that way, Mama. Tell me the right way. The way that starts with ___________. And then goes _________.” As you can imagine, this is a major test of my patience, not to imagine memory and imagination, but I do like that he’s so involved in the thought process that goes into storytelling.
In early February, my parents visited and we pulled out an Angry Birds coloring/activity book that we’d gotten awhile back for HD. While I took
advantage of having the grandparents around a nap, Harrison worked on the book with Grandpa and Grandma. He’s never been big on coloring, so it wasn’t too shocking that he didn’t spend too much time on those pages, but what did impress me when I saw it, was the My Own Angry Birds page where he wrote a story. Well, Grandma technically wrote it, but all she did was transcribe HD’s story which went as follows:
Once upon a time, there were Angry Birds. Then there were Piggies.
And the Angry Birds had golden eggs. Then they went to bed.
Then the Piggies took their golden eggs in a net. Then the angry birds were ANGRY.
Then they got on their slingshot. Then the Angry Birds hit the Piggies.
Then the Angry Birds go their eggs back! The End.
Now that little story might contain an awful lot of “then”s, but it also has a true beginning, conflict, resolution, and conclusion – a real story arc! And Harrison is only 3 1/2!!
So once again, I find myself thinking, hooray for books; they are an excellent form of education wrapped up and presented as wonderful entertainment. And if I accomplish nothing else as a parent, I’ve helped my son develop a love of words, characters, and stories, which I know he’ll be able to carry with him always. I can’t wait to see where his love of books takes us (and can only imagine how many more times I’ll have to do my best to tell the right Angry Birds story before he outgrows that little stage!)!