The other day, C. had a playdate with a couple of friends, and a parent asked if I could do a quick storytelling session with the kids. I didn’t think it was going to be an issue as it was in a nice cosy place with people he was familiar with. However, when the time came, C. proceeded to have a huge meltdown and I had to stop the reading halfway to scoop him up as he writhed around the floor.
The few days after, C. would line up the Squirky books against the wall within viewing distance from his bed to ensure that I would not take the books and tell the story to anyone else. Even now that he is ok about keeping the books in the bookshelf, he’ll still give a mini-lecture about how when I tell the story to other people, he is “not able to see the book” (?)
Like C., I haven’t been that great in sharing him with others. There’s been a fear of not being able to see what’s next, and of being too vulnerable, which is ironic since the story is all about facing such things. I’m working on this. There’s still much to learn.
As a start, I’ve been bringing Squirky (stuff toy) along with me whenever I go out, taking pictures of him with people, and getting him out in the open. In the photo above, I brought him to the library and the minute I took him out, these two boys (sitting behind) came up to me to ask who he was. They helped me “art-direct” Squirky for this shot.
I hope C. will eventually be comfortable with accompanying me for Squirky storytelling sessions (and he should, because he’s such a drama king). I hope that one day, he’ll realise that this story he sees as his alone is also a story that can belong to many other children.