Saturday, February 23, 2008

Harry Partch Came to Supper Last Night

Sam is certainly on the mend from his recent bout of all-encompassing-kid-sickness. His fever has been down for two days, his spirits have been up for one, and we're back to chasing him around, trying to figure out what to do with this kid.

The fever seems to have knocked something loose in his head or jump started a new developmental leap because since he recovered, he's been obsessed with stories. He's always loved for us to read to him, but now he sits and reads the books to himself, making up stories as he goes along. And last night, the stories spilled over to dinner.

I was telling Joy about my most recent work at school, which invariably involves Harry Partch, when we noticed that Sam was carrying on with an outlandish story even though we were paying him no mind. While I was heating up supper, he had played happily on the kitchen floor with a measuring cup, a spoon, an old spice jar, and a bowl of pita chips. He transfered the chips to the measuring cup, then crushed a few with his spoon, which he then used to transfer said crushed chips into the jar, which he then shook out into the bowl.

You know, he was cooking.

Later, while eating, he was still fascinated by the process of chip movement and so, picking up on my conversation about Harry Partch, began relating how Harry Partch had come over and needed to get some chips but they were broken....

When he realized we were suddenly silent and listening he slyly raised his eyes, grinned, and stopped telling the story. Taking our cue, we continued talking, but were really listening. The story continued with a bird that flew into the kitchen and crunched up the pita chips and then began spilling the chips, but Sam told the bird that, no, he shouldn't spill the chips, but then the bird said he wanted to come and eat with Sam and...

Then the story stopped and Sam went back to stuffing his face. He obviously knows how to start a story, but hasn't fully learned how to stop a story. Or how not to leave plot threads hanging. I mean, what ever happened to Harry Partch?

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