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Archive for November, 2011

One of LP’s regular companion’s  is Doggy Chicken Burrito (and yes, you do need to say the whole name).

Doggy Chicken Burrito is interested in bugs that sting, especially bees.

Doggy Chicken Burrito knows that he needs protection to investigate bees and not get hurt.

Doggy Chicken Burrito wearing protective gear looks like this:

 

Big people almost universally comment about Doggy Chicken Burrito by saying, “What happened to your doggie?” or “What’s wrong with his eyes?”  or “Oh now! Your doggie has an owie!”  or “Why can’t your doggie see?” LP  usually attempts to explain, although her explanation is a little hard to follow if you don’t already know who Doggy Chicken Burrito is and about his interests in bees.

Last night, LP asked me, “Why does everyone think there’s something wrong with Doggy Chicken Burrito? Why don’t they know he can see through the protection?”

A hard question to answer.

Sure, one answer is that when you use your wonderful imagination, not everyone can see what something means unless you draw them into your world.  But another answer is we live in  a culture of fear that leads people to unconsciously make negative assumptions and while it is frustrating to explain and explain, you are doing a good thing — challenging those assumptions — when you do.

Would I make that same mistake if I didn’t know Doggy Chicken Burrito’s back story?  Very likely.  As much as I try to embrace free range parenting (see Free Range Kids for an abundance more on that topic), I am as saturated in the culture of fear as anyone.

While it is certainly easy to tell myself to stop overthinking this, I do believe it is meaningful that EVERY time someone has engaged LP about Doggy Chicken Burrito’s eye covering, it has been with the assumption that something is wrong. I wish even one person engaged her with curiosity and without assumption — “Tell me about your doggie’s eyes” would be one way to do it.

And such a good reminder to me about asking kids open-ended questions, especially when it comes to the place where our adult reality and their wonderful imaginations meet.  What we “see” may not be what is real.

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Bookstore Dog

Oh, I have about twenty posts to write about LP’s life as a dog.

But for now, I think her song captures some of the essence. Picture LP industriously using blue painters tape all over the dining room built-in cabinet and walls to create her bookstore as she sings:

Oh, I wanna be a bookstore dog.

Oh, I’m making a bookstore.

Now I’m letting everyone know,

This is a surprise.

I’m not adopted yet.

I’m not adopted yet.

I’m being adopted.

I’m being taken care of.

I’m gonna be a bookstore dog, a bookstore dog.

I let the world know, this is my house.

Yup. That’s pretty much the song a bookstore dog would sing.

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I’ve been taking (an unexpected) blogging break AND also been bookmarking lots of wonderful links out there. So I thought it was time to share a few. The first one is a wonderful 5 minute video…check it out!

“How to make an interactive and experiential story-telling hour” on Kirjastokaista

Play, Who Will be the Next Steve Jobs?” by Darell Hammond on Huffington Post

“German doctors prescribe kids a trip to the theater” by Isabelle de Pommereau on The Christian Science Monitor Global News Blog

“Blast Off! Pretend Play Astronaut” by Melissa Taylor on Imagination Soup

“Quiet-time art game for children” by Jean Van’t Hul on The Artful Parent

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