Our story telling evolved into a little participatory game. I will always begin with “Once upon a time” and she will supply bits of information to direct the flow of the story. Her favorite is going to the zoo. She will supply what animals we saw, the color, and the sounds that they make, etc. Last night she initiated the sounds of the bear, tiger, and lion with her finest “Roar!” and she said the monkey goes “hoo hoo hoo” complete with scratching her head and her tummy! She dictates the hero/ heroine of the story (herself, me, her tatay, lola, lolo, and yaya) and the activities that he/ she does is already pre-assigned based on the original story that I told her since she was 8 months old. It may be about my childhood and trip to the zoo, her tatay’s first computer, her lola’s big black dog, her lolo’s first drum that his father bought for him sa perya, and her yaya’s doll. I also tell her Iya’s trip to the zoo, the food she loves to eat (including how many to teach her about numbers), and her day with her cousin kuya John.
Her favorite game so far is looking for shapes everywhere. We are often inside the car and to prevent Iya from being bored we almost always play that game. We will alternately ask “Asan na circle?” or square, triangle, rectangle, heart, diamond, oval, cross, octagon, star, or even the shape of a house. I made a mistake of pointing the wheel of a car. She said “Hindi nanay! yung nakadikit lang!” I guess wheels for circles are just too easy! When we are nearing the train station I asked “Where’s the octagon?” She saw the stop, look, and listen sign and said “ayun! may red, blue atsaka yellow!”
She also tries to identify cars, vans, trucks, jeeps, and buses with its matching colors. And sometimes also points out letters that she sees along the way.
She loves to look at picture books and I think has graduated from simply naming the picture. So we try to describe its characteristics and take a look at other drawings from the page. I buy books from booksale whenever we go out to the town mall. She will choose her books from the box and will say “Nay bili”. I recently read “Are you my mother?” and “twiddlebugs at work” which are books from my childhood. She particularly liked the first one because she kept on asking everyone “asan na nanay mo?” This is about a baby bird trying to find her mother. She loves the pictures showing the baby bird popping from the egg saying “nasira na”, and the bird falling down from his nest. In the end, he finally met his mother with the mother bird hugging her baby. Ofcourse, we also end our story telling the same way.