Pride

Thinking Outside the Story Box

I let the monkey watch TV for 20 minutes or so when we come home to provide a distraction for her while I cook dinner. She sits on the couch and watches the small travel DVD player; it’s comfortable and the content is usually an educational show (go Mr. Dressup!).

Unfortunately, TV is something that she brings up frequently. She isn’t too upset if she can’t watch it and at times her mild persistence is almost cute. While the battle isn’t something huge, TV watching is not something we want her to pursue as a career. I see a lot of kids who have no real creativity because they spend too much time watching TV or playing video games, when they could be spending at least some of that time reading or drawing or pursuing something less passive than being a couch potato.

So the other day I encouraged the wee one to join me in a re-enactment of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves using her Snow White doll and the set of Seven Dwarf figures that my brother and his wife gave her for Christmas. We used other dolls and stuffed animals to represent the parts of the other players (wicked Queen, the Huntsman, the Prince, etc.), and it went over well. I led the story and she had control of some of the characters. She picked up the concept very quickly and did a very good job playing her parts.

After the first run-through, I handed the reins over to her. She was over the moon and launched into a story that had only a passing resemblance to the original: Scar the lion made an appearance; the apple that the witch gave Snow White wasn’t poisoned; the magic mirror hit Snow White on the head, and thus, became the villain of the story; some of the Dwarves went to school during the day. It was pretty awesome.

My favourite part was when the scene with the “poisoned” apple happened. The Queen and Snow White were very polite to each other during the exchange, and after, the Queen went back to her castle. Later, Snow White shows up on the Queen’s doorstep, asking if she can give the apple core to the Queen to dispose of, as the Dwarves had no garbage can at their house.


Valentine’s Props

A Valentine’s Tale

This story was originally told to me by one of my psychology profs at University. It is about an exchange between her and her young son, and the result of that exchange. I’m embelleshing the story a little, by fooling around with the format (third person vs. first person).

Some small details might have changed slightly, as I am getting old and my memory is failing, but the bulk of it is spot-on. For the ease of the story we’ll call my prof Mrs. BF and we’ll call her son Danny

Mrs. BF and her husband had friends over every Valentine’s Day. It was an annual ritual that they looked forward to. She was in the kitchen, preparing dinner when her son walked in.

” Hey mom, ” he said.

” Hello, sweetie, ” she replied, ” Is there something I can do for you? “

” Not really, ” smiled the six-year-old tyke.

” Really? ” She looked dubious.

” Well, ” he scuffed his feet together, shy about what he was about to say, ” I was wondering if I could help with stuff? “

Mrs. BF looked surprised. Her eyes softened, and she tousled his hair, ” That’s very sweet, Danny. “

Danny blushed and hugged his mom’s leg.

Mrs. BF looked around the kitchen for something her son could do. She still needed to take care of dinner and set the table. He was too small to handle hot cookware, and a little too clumsy to handle the china, so she decided that she would let him have a very special job.

” Danny, ” she reached over and grabbed the cake that she had baked and iced earlier that afternoon, ” I have a big job for you. “

” Really? ” he looked excited.

” Yes, ” she winked, walking over to the kitchen table and placing the cake down on it. She grabbed a tube of red frosting and helped him up onto the chair, ” I would like you to decorate the cake. “

” Really? ” he looked stunned, ” REALLY, Mom? “

” Yes, ” she smiled, foldly remembering him watching her decorate a birthday cake earlier that year, ” Your writing is much neater now than it used to be, and I think it’s time for you to do some grown-up stuff. “

” That’s so cool! ” he beamed.

” Here you go, ” she gave him the tube.

” Um, ” he scratched his head with his free hand, ” What should I do? “

” Why don’t you write Happy Valentine’s Day? ” she went to the refrigerator and removed one of the cards she had received, placing it on the table next to the cake, ” You can use that as a guide. “

” Wow! Thanks, mom! ” Danny kissed her, and looked at the cake, sizing it up.

Mrs. BF was too busy to supervise the tyke, but she would steal glances as she walked by. She took note of how careful he was writing each letter.

A fair amount of time had gone by, and she saw the word Happy in surprisingly neat, large letters on the cake.

After that, she paid him no mind, allowing him to do his special job, allowing herself to trust him complete his task.

The guests were about to arrive, and she was straightening out the dining room table when she heard him call out from the kitchen.

” Mom, I’m done! ” he sounded very proud, ” Did you want to check it? “

She had her hands full, and didn’t really have time to spare to see his handiwork. She figured she’d enjoy it later.

” No, it’s okay Danny, ” she called, back, ” Just put the lid on it, and we’ll serve it later! “

” Okay, ” he replied.

A few minutes later he came out of the kitchen, all smiles. He ran up to his mom and hugged her.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Company had arrived.

A sumptuous dinner came and went, and Mrs. BF went to the kitchen to fetch the cake that she made and her son decorated.

She brought it out in its container with the opaque lid still on, aiming to maximize her pride in her son by making it a big presentation, and placed it on the table in front of everyone.

” I now present to you the great work of Danny the cake decorator, ” she then lifted the lid off of the cake with a flourish.

There was stunned silence, and then good-natured laughter followed by clapping all around the table.

It seems that Danny had not budgeted his space properly, and the latter part of the message had to be abbreviated…



HAPPY V.D.



Props

I don’t normally give into the commercialism of Valentine’s Day.

I think it’s important to share well-wishes with your loved ones often, and not just on special days.

To that end, here are three haiku for three people I mentioned recently…


To the Blife
You make blogging fun
Keep DC warm for our gang
Don’t hog the blossoms


To the Mife
You rock all kinds, dude
Thanks for your support and your
Eternal friendship


To My Wife
What else can I say?
The world is a better place
With you living here


Love to all,

J