Thursday, January 08, 2009

The greatest story ever told. So far.

I was picking Chicky up from preschool one day before the Christmas break, waiting in the hallway with the other parents also waiting for their rugrats, when the door opened and instead of Chicky being shuttled through the door and into my waiting arms her teacher gestured me inside the door. Which, in my opinion, is rarely a good thing.

Her teacher looked at me for a moment, seemingly trying to find the right words, and then in a hushed tone she asked, "Are you and your husband adopting a baby?"

"Uh, no."

"You're not adopting a baby boy from China?"

What the hell? "No. Definitely not." At this point I could feel the nervous, crazy laughter bubbling in my throat. If this story didn't have a happy ending, things were going to get ugly.

"I didn't think so," she said, relieved. "But Chicky had us so convinced that you were adopting a little boy. She even had a name for him. Donnie, I think."

Donnie? Okay, this is weird. I continued to stare at her teacher because I didn't know what else to do.

"I was talking with Ms. L and Ms. S (her other teachers) and she told us all the same story," she continued. "You were going to China to adopt a baby, but I thought that was weird because you just had a baby (gesturing to CC in her car seat) and that's a big trip so I figured you would give us a heads up about that..."

I stood there shaking my head, maybe grunting every few seconds. I don't know, the whole thing is a blur. All I knew was that my little girl, the one who I tell people will win an Oscar by her sixth birthday, had concocted this elaborate story about a baby boy from China named Donnie that we were adopting - though I think the word she used was "getting", as in "We're getting a new baby brother, his name is Donnie, and he's in China." - and she was so convincing she had all three of her teachers believing her story.

I didn't know whether to be concerned or to immediately sign her up for acting classes. When I got Chicky home from school we had a long discussion about telling stories and the difference between playing make believe and lying, which she completely dismissed.

That girl of mine has the most wonderful imagination. She has invisible friends and makes up elaborate situations for them. It gets a little frustrating when the world of imagination and the world of reality get blurred and I need to sit her down and figure out if what she's telling me is real or fiction, because Chicky really knows how to sell it to the point that I have to wonder if she's convinced herself her stories are real, but I want to make sure she continues using that noggin of hers in this way. It's entertaining.

The funny thing about Chicky's stories is that they're not fanciful in any way. There are no fairy princesses, fairy tales, or fairies. Every story is based firmly in real life. Take the adopted baby brother story - before CC was born, Chicky was convinced we were having a boy. She wanted a baby brother very badly, to the point that when we told her it was a girl she refused to believe it for awhile. And then last summer we spent a good deal of time watching the Beijing Summer Olympics. Baby, boy, China. Don't ask me where the name Donnie came from. We don't know anyone named Donnie. Maybe she's been listening to the New Kids?

I'm charmed by her stories, I want her imagination to grow and grow, but most of all I want her to get really good at story telling/acting so that I don't have to work in my old age. Better get her into those acting classes, maybe some writing classes, ASAP.

18 comments:

Barbara said...

This is so freakin' cute! Helps with the Happy!

My younger daughter was like Chicky when she was her age (she is 8 now). I think she wasn't sure what really happened and what she made up.

She still loves to tell stories, but now she writes them, and let me tell you, I think you might be buying one of her books some day. She can write funny, and sweet and she has even written a fable (although I don't think she knew that she was doing it).

Anyway, I read this earlier today, and couldn't get it off my mind. Continue to be charmed by the stories, but with that kind of imagination, continue to expect the teacher hand gesture from time to time. My daughter told everyone she learned to speake Chinese (what is it with China?), and then proceeded to shake her bum and make strange "fru frum fru from" type noises that she insisted were Chinese.

It is fun. But. Sigh.

Ella said...

i'd love to be able to read their minds for just one day and see where and how they come up with this stuff!

when my son was 3 - going on 4 - he had an imaginary friend he called nick, but insisted he was real. nick this, nick that, i was sick of hearing about nick. then one night we were talking and my boy said that nick's mommy was named ella too. oh really? what was nick's daddy named? and i swear to you he turned his head as he lay in bed and whispered to nick "what's your daddy's name?" it was all i could do to hold the laughter in.

so.stinkin.cute.

Emily said...

Ahhhh def treasure it! Imagining is a neglected skill IMHO - I taught acting classes to kids summers off from theatre school and I was shocked by how many kids couldn't imagine things - they could only recount characters or storylines they had seen on tv or in the movies. Tres depressing. I wish I had written more of my imaginary stories down. A couple of years ago we were clearing out the in-laws attic and found loads of stories husbando had written as a kid - priceless!

Suz said...

That is so incredibly charming and funny!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Great, great story! But, Donnie? I hope she gains better baby naming abilities by the time she has any of her own!

ewe are here said...

What a great imagination!

Wonder what it will be next. :-)

d e v a n said...

ha!! That is very funny! You may have an actress on your hands.

Heather said...

Love it! What a great skill/talent for her to have!

Mary G said...

Uh huh! I had one of those. She used to come home and tell me dramatic things such as the principal hit her with his shoe, which turned out to have grown from a reading story. (she was four!)
They do learn to distinguish fact from fiction. In a way that's sad, because the dramatic story age is so derned cute.
Next time you'll be prepared.

SciFi Dad said...

Am I the only one who feels sad for Donnie the orphan in Beijing?

Mags said...

So cute! I hope you will be charmed for many years with her stories.

motherbumper said...

Pfffffft NKOTB - she's clearly an Osmond fan.

petite gourmand said...

wow that's one imagination...
and so sweet....but Donnie??
interesting.

Dorothy said...

I sense a journalist career in her future with many best selling books.

what a funny story....

Dorothy from grammology
http://grammology.com

Came over from cynical dad....

Magpie said...

Charming. Mine tried to convince her kindergarten teacher that she had a baby sister, so much so that the teacher went and checked the information form...

alperen said...

thnks

Leighann said...

My four-year-old takes musical theater (acting, singing, dancing--but mostly acting). She LOVES it. But I often wonder if I am giving her more ammunition!

Patois said...

She's got to be a heck of a storyteller and really good with keeping her stories the same. I'd worry about her ability to lie through her teeth to you when she hits puberty. ;)