Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

There Was An Old Lady

I didn’t want to say anything about it because, let’s face it, putting it out there for everyone to read always leads to immediate jinxing. However I am so dumbfounded, stupefied really, by recent developments that I’m just going to do it anyway. My children have stopped asking to watch tv. Chase mostly. Avery still asks about it a couple of times a day.

I feel like requests to watch tv (or play on the computer) used to start the moment they got out of bed in the morning and wouldn’t end until I tucked them into bed at night. For the last week or two I’ve heard hardly anything about it. Instead they’re working (together!) on art projects for long stretches of time (like paper crowns) and using up all the extra large popsicle sticks (we could never possibly run out of popsicle sticks, I think we have 1000) to use in the (super fancy) puppet theater.

Today Chase put on a full-blown production of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. I can’t help but be impressed. All of those puppets took a lot of work, retelling the story took a lot of thinking and putting on a show for the rest of the family took a lot of care and creativity. And to think that I very nearly almost threw out the puppet theater after the storm passed and we got back into school and our normal routine. Close one.

I wish I could take credit for this shift but I really didn’t do anything. I have not thought of any clever ways to wean them off of the box. Lord knows I love watching television. I did make a couple of deliberate moves but with no specific outcome in mind. We picked up a copy of the Simms Taback illustrated version of the story after Chase studied it at school. Couple that with the supplies that I like to keep at the ready and I think it’s another point in the “providing access to materials column.” And maybe some credit goes to being almost 6 too.

It’s so interesting and amazing to me mostly because I’m providing no suggestions, guidance or supervision. In fact, the puppet production was organized while I was still in bed this morning. I’ve distilled a couple of ideas/interests from this that I’d like to support and extend. Puppets, story telling, playwriting and theater. Who knows where this will take us.

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