I've been trying to foster a sense of imagination in Billy, but I haven't had much success so far. He's great at remembering small details and loves learning facts, but making up stuff seems such a foreign concept to him. "You can make up your own story...really?" Yes really.
It often sounds like he's got a great imagination. "The gates are going to close and lock you in and the guard will march in front and keep you from escaping!" Sounds imaginative. He's actually regurgitating some footage of the changing of the guard in front of Buckingham Palace.
And while it's great that he can recall all of these minute facts that he's picked up along the way, it's not fostering his true imagination. He's not making up stories.
So, at bedtime when it was too late to sit down to read (maybe because someone was procrastinating about putting his jammies on) I told him we would make up our own story.
"We can do that?"
Yes we can. First, we need a character. Who should our character be?
"A monster! Rawr!"
And what's the monster's name?
This is a Daddy thing. Daddy calls everything Bob. We'll let that one pass.
Soon I get him to describe Bob and talk about what Bob likes to do. "He's red and orange and blue. He likes to jump. He has teeny tiny eyes and a teeny tiny nose and really big feet. He has purple horns." Then he goes on to tell me that Bob eats trees and he lives in the trees where he is too afraid to climb down to the ground. He finishes up and I tell him the story is over and it's bedtime.
"But what about the other Bob?"
How many Bobs are there?
"A thousand!" He doesn't know what that means- just a big number to him.
And so it's begun. Now he wants to hear stories about the thousand Monster Bobs. Each one is named Bob. Some are girls, some boys. Some big, some small, some scary and some silly. So far I'm at 7 Bobs. I've got a long way to go...