Here are a couple of examples:
- One time Joshua Ethiopia daddy take you Joshua to circus. Fun! Crazy! Joshua laughing! Joshua I see clowns, eat cotton candy.
- One time Joshua Ethiopia daddy have a BIG boat. Go fishing. Drive big boat really, really fast. Joshua catch BIG fish. Joshua eat it all gone.
- One time Ethiopia Joshua jump and jump until Joshua I touch ceiling! Yeah! Really cool, Joshua do that!
These tall tales come up when Joshua's siblings are in the car telling about the exciting things that happened at school, or during a play date. They are Joshua's way of contributing adventures to our conversations. (There is also an element of trying to get the most attention and control the conversation going on!)
When he starts telling these stories, I always listen. When they are clearly imagined events, I respond with something like "it sure is fun to pretend" or "wow! you are really good at telling make-believe stories!"
Joshua responds with a big smile or laughter.
I have to admit, I like these stories. I am so very happy that the very mention of Ethiopia is no longer scary! I am thrilled that he knows he can talk about his Ethiopian parents any time. I do, of course want him to realize that he did not really eat cotton candy at the circus in Ethiopia. (That story is the funniest because he HATES cotton candy!) I want him to know his real story - and that will come. For today, I am thrilled to hear him processing and pretending out loud. I am thrilled he has incorporated the country of his birth in his everyday thoughts. I love that he points to Africa on my necklace and says, "Mommy I love it Ethiopia because Joshua born there!" with pride and confidence.