My 4-year-old son is a born storyteller. Seriously. I’m fairly sure he was making up stories in his head from the moment he came out of the womb. He loves looking through books, loves being read stories, and LOVES making up his own. Often, my husband and I then have to act out the stories that he’s created. (He’s also a director, rather than an actor himself.)
I’m constantly amazed by his instinctive grasp of narrative structure, and his ability to create a satisfying resolution for his characters.
Or maybe I’m reading too much into it…
Let me give you an examples of one of the recent stories he made up:
The Three Little Robots
Once upon a time, there were three little robots. They didn’t have shoots (guns), and that made them feel sad. So they went to a shoot shop.
The first robot went to the counter and said, “Excuse me, Sir, can I please have a shoot?” The man said, “Yes.” And then the first robot flew away.
The second robot went to the counter and said, “Excuse me, Sir, can I please have a shoot?” The man said, “Yes.” And then the second robot flew away.
The third robot went to the counter and said, “Excuse me, Sir, can I please have a shoot?” The man said, “Yes.” And then the third robot flew away.
The three little robots were all happy. And then they flew into space and fired their shoots. The first robot’s shoot went: Pew! Pew! The second robot’s shoot went: Pew! Pew! The third robot’s shoot went: … It didn’t work. That made the third robot feel very sad.
So the third robot went back to the shoot shop and said, “Excuse me, Sir, my shoot doesn’t work. Can I have another one?” But the man said, “No.”
The third robot was even more sad. He didn’t know what to do. So he went back to the shoot shop and said, “Excuse me, Sir. Please can I have another shoot?” But the man still said, “No.”
The third robot was even more sadder. He thought and thought and thought. And then he went to a different shoot shop, and this time the man said, “Yes.”
The third robot flew into space and fired his shoot, and it went: Pew! Pew! And he was happy.
I love having a child with an active imagination, a series of interesting imaginary friends (each with their own personality), and a desire to tell stories. I really do. The downside to this is that his mind is often away in the magical lands of his imagination, and he has doesn’t always pay attention to things like eating or walking.
This leads to him falling over imaginary obstacles (read: his own feet) on a regular basis. This week, he fell over in exactly the wrong place, and landed face-first on the edge of our coffee table. Blood, crying, and an ambulance ride to the hospital quickly followed. The end result (after spending hours in hospital, fretting that he was going to need to be knocked out and operated on by a plastic surgeon, and then fortunately just having his cuts glued together) looked like this:
But even in the hospital, he was in fairly good spirits. We’d been in the waiting room for half an hour when he began.
Once upon a time, there was a spaceship. It was pink and was shaped like a rectangle. It had a Captain named Captain Captainy, and a first mate named Crew. And they were going to the planet Mars…