Little storyteller evolution

28 05 2017

There are a few posts back in the archives of Evanny learning to tell stories, but I haven’t given Tab the mic much beyond the bee-sting tale.  Here’s me making up for lost time with a few copied off of the paper scraps I jotted them on when they happened, one about a month ago and sounding like something she’d have said verbatim this morning (this month has been about other kinds of growth) and one from about 4 months before that, showing dramatic verbal leaps between the two.

Once upon a time, there a tiny girl call Rosabella.  And Rosabella have a tiny, tiny sister names Tabitha.  And they have a tiny Mommy, but not the daddy.  They daddy is big.  And once upon a time they have a dog and dog call Maggie. Tiny Tabitha and Rosabella talk about Evanny and Tabitha and “once upon a time there were two little girls.”

–Tab, 29 months.

Once upon a time you were teeny, and I was the mama, and I loved my teeny, teeny baby, but one day you were scared because there was an ant! And you screamed “ant, ant!” And I came to you and I picked up the ant in my two hands and took it outside.  And you said “Thank you, Mama,” and gave me a big kiss.

–Tab, 33 months.

My favourite things about the first one are the text-within-a-text story-nesting of how the girls in her story tell a story and the fact that none of our princess-or-fairy stories have involved anyone named “Rosabella.”  Ever.  There’s a “Bella” in one story and a “Rosetta” in another, but she created the lovely amalgam herself.  My favourite things about the second are that I get to be kissed and loved and protected, that these are the actions and associations that seem natural to her in her imagined role-reversal, and, of course, the compound-complex sentences.  Effective toddler use of independent and dependent clauses for the win!

And because we don’t want to be leaving anybody out, or losing track of any other evolutions (it’s so easy, when the big is big, to only watch the little, and forget how fast these bigger leaps are leaping!) here’s a contribution from the older sister, in the car on the way home from preschool, free-associating with wild delight:

What if there was a really big thing, like a house, but without any cars, and nobody lived there.  And you could go there, and by it, like in front of it, there was a really big dragon. And when they turned it on, it would breathe.  And if you went in front of it, with your back to it, you’d have to run really fast away from its breath.  And at the beginning, it had a soft claw that came out of it that could go into your throat and take out your voice!  And at the end it would put your voice back, but without any words, so all you could say was “Aggle flabble klabble.” But then they came and got some fire, and shot the fire at the dinosaur, I mean the dragon, and got the words back and gave them back to us.  To me and you, but not to Tabitha.  Everyone in our family got their voices back with their words but Tabitha.  So she could only flap her arms around and make faces to tell us what she wanted.  Like, if she licked her lips and looked really happy, it meant she wanted ice cream.  But if she looked sad, like really, really sad, it meant someone had taken something away from her.  Like her voice!

–Evanny storytelling, age 4 ½ .

There’s so much about this that I love, like the effort to tie it all together, the dividing and specifying what happens to whom, the self-correcting to maintain continuity, but if I have a favorite moment, it’s “Aggle flabble klabble,” which, rather than being the original made-up sound it sounds like, is a direct baby-talk quotation from a favorite book that we haven’t read in months.

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