Monday, August 07, 2006

Story Penguins

We tried something new with Celeste tonight: story penguins.

Back when she was weaning, we tried substituting a bedtime book for breastfeeding, but it didn't work. Then (as now) she loves books and reading gets her wound up, not calmed down. It actually got the point where we took the bookcase out of her bedroom.

Lately, the "Dadda, tell Celeste story 'bout [Celeste, Dee Dee Bear go library/Panda-Bear-Eat-Bamboo that guy/Baby Quinn, Celeste go in our car/some other fond plot line]" thing has gotten to a similar point where the this-is-the-last-story caution does no good and much crying results. So Evelin came up with the idea of limiting things to three stories/books/songs/whatever.

Since this was sort of off the cuff, we dinnae have much planning going in and found ourselves just before bathtime explaining the new rule to Celeste and casting about for a handy trio to represent each story/book/song/whatever. Evelin asked, "What do we have three of," thinking a trio of physical objects would help Celeste with understanding/tracking the concept of three), and I remembered my Flying Penguini set of juggling penguins/balls. (Apparently, they're kind of rare or something.)

They are now the Story Penguins. We tried to explain to Celeste that she could trade one penguin for one story/book/song/whatever. (Evelin said they were representations of a story; I said they were sort of a metaphor for a story; Celeste just nodded.)

After her bath, I gave Celeste the three penguins. She gave me one and wanted a story about "penguin that guy." [ASIDE: She seems to be no longer using the word dave exclusively to mean all penguins ...] Since she was getting a limited set of stories, I tried to make sure it was a more involved tale, covering the geography of penguins, their natural history, and a few odd facts I could remember from March of the Penguins.

She got a little bored, and dumped the other two penguins on me and asked for a story about Dee Dee Bear.

After that story (and a third), I put her in her crib and she demanded another story, but I pointed at the penguins and reminded her that each one was a story. She then demanded the penguins join the rest of the menagerie in her bed.

Eventually, she fell asleep.
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