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Life, Narrated

Maddie has a huge love of books;
she’s got quite a collection, with two shelves of picture
books in the family library, as well as two large shelves in her
own room. In addition, she’s got a couple volumes each
stashed in the living room, game room, and even Mommy and
Daddy’s room – just in case the urge strikes. When you
add her love of books to her deep passion for performing,
you’ve got an imagination that’s almost over the top.

This imagination expresses itself in many ways, of course, but one
of my all-time favorites is the way she sees her entire life as a
story to be told. And not only does she picture herself as the
leading role in the story – the heroine – but
she’s also cast herself as the narrator.

Any time Maddie plays any sort of game by
herself – Thomas, setting up an elaborate picnic with bears,
even organizing her crayons (yes that’s a game for her
– she’s my kid, after all!) – she keep a running
monologue the entire time. In the third person. Here’s a

Maddie will be setting a toddler table with picnic ware and fake
food, all the while saying the following: “Maddie invited her
good friends Pink Teddy and Naked Dolly to a party in the park.
‘Would you like some tea?’ Maddie offered politely to
her friends. Her friends looked at each other in consternation.
‘Oh, my, don’t you have any chocolate milk?’
Maddie grumbled to herself and said, ‘I suppose I do. Please
wait here while I get some, and make yourself

I’m not making this up, I swear. Even the stories she tells
while she plays with her Thomas set – “Thomas chugged
merrily over the mountain, but saw Percy stalled on the tracks.
‘Oh, no!’ cried Thomas. ‘I can’t
stop!’” – are in this distinctive narrative
style. And I can’t help but wonder if she narrates the less
happy parts of her life as well, giving herself an objectivity to
the rough times during the day: “Maddie sat on her bed,
fuming about having to take a break. She looked around the room for
a way to help herself calm down.” That sort of thing.
I’ve never heard it, but I have to wonder.

I don’t know if this makes her weird, or simply wildly
creative and verbal. All I know is that I absolutely adore it, and
will creep in to listen whenever possible. I’m sure
she’ll grow out of it at some point, but I confess I’ll
miss it. Deeply.


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