Friday, November 9, 2007
The spider and the fuki-yols
Lucy loves, loves, loves stories. Every meal time, any moment of downtime she pipes up, "Mummy, can you tell me a story?" Goldilocks, and the Three Pigs are her favourites, although Al's lesser known Loxi Gold (about the baby bear and a mother from the Parents and Friends Association) and the cheeky puppy (who eats a cake and goes too far) are also in demand. It drives us crazy, telling these stories fifteen, sixteen times a day. And of course, we have fallen in the trap of making them ever more detailed in the hope of keeping ourselves amused, and Lucy then wants the more detailed version and so a boring 3 minutes is turninginto a boring 6 minutes for the teller. Thus, it's been great to have Grandad along, with his welcome contributions of the princess and the Pea, Rosie Red Cap, the musicians of Bremen and the Pied Piper. But even he is starting to grit his teeth over describing just how dirty the princess really was.
We tell the stories to help Lu with her vocab and to encourage her imagination. But being high minded can be a right pain in the arse. I do sometimes wonder if Lu asks for these stories to see if this will be the time Mummy breaks down and bangs her head against the table in frustration. But no - it turns out,she's been learning about narrative. And now, she's pinned it.
So I write the following to remember just how incandescently proud I was when this morning Lu said to me, "Mummy, do you want to hear a story?", sat in her chair, and started in the traditional way ...
"Once upon a time there was a spider. The person came along and the spider bit her. Then she went along and found another spider and it was friendly and they were happy.
There was a fuki-yol*, and they bit a person. Then the person went away and there were more fuki-yols and they were friendly. And they went home and the house was white and purple and sprinkly. And the rain stopped and it was a nice day and there was a rainbow. And that's the end of the story.
Right Mum, I'm off now. Bye-bye."
Note, if you will, the marrying of a linear narrative with multiple subject positionings, the tension between the protagonists, the final reconciliation, the roller coaster of emotions, the symbolism within the happy ending.
I will boldly state, in the most annoying way, that my kid is amazing.
* Upon asking, I discovered a fuki-yol looks like a dragonfly.