Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Putt, putt, putt, BOOM

That's the sound of my great idea backfiring. During Bitty Girl's nap, The Boy was aimlessly wandering around, not finding anything particularly independent to do. So in my infinite Mommy wisdom, I suggest having him tell me a story and I'll write it down. We've done this before, more in a "caption of the picture I'm drawing" kind of way, but not much with big long stories.

He seemed excited, so I grabbed a notebook and a pen. He wanted to illustrate it, and we talked about making a book, etc. I'm thinking I'm so smart, I've got him turned on to writing, etc. I already know he's a great storyteller (ahem, that's nice word for LIAR), but he really does have a fabulous imagination, memory for details and does a great job taking over the bedtime stories some nights.

First story he wants to tell is the Army guy story. His friend at school has some camouflage outfit, so now he's into soldiers. I'm thinking, "At least it's not a Ninja Turtles story."
(Cue creepy foreshadowing music for silly mommy who can't see this coming)

So we begin. First, he talks faster than I do, so he's no easy transcription job. The story is about some Navy guys in a submarine who are going out to kill a shark who's been hurting scuba divers. Lots of good details, including the big bow and arrow that's going to STAB the shark until it DIES. Then a long explanation of how the Navy guys go run up into the mountains to get snow, which they grind up and bury for an hour until it turns into a fossil and when they dig it up, it's turned into METAL! Metal that they need to make motorcycles and "RINE speeders," as in submaRINE. I am not kidding - he made that up himself.

We stop that one when he says he wants to tell a Ninja Turtle story. And then a Star Wars story... I should have seen it coming. I'll continue this post with the story transcription tomorrow - I am too tired to do it justice tonight, but here's my point. I got frustrated when he was basically retelling me a movie he saw. I know he's still remembering the whole thing, and some of the details he added are flat-out hysterical. But it didn't seem like HIS story, and that's what I wanted.

What did I expect? That a nearly-five year old could tell a perfect story with a beginning, middle, and end? That a boy obsessed with bad guys and guns and violence is going to tell a story about rainbows and making friends?

I have to chalk this up to learning, and realize that he enjoyed himself, and making Ninja Turtle books of his stories are better than none at all. And--sigh--I have to keep transcribing for him.

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