I recently brought on a high school graduate K to help play with Philip and do RPM lessons. K’s style complements my style very well. While I am good at teaching academics, she is good in creativity. I am more of a stickler and she is more fun and relaxed. I think Philip will really benefit from having K help once a week. Today K and Philip put together a few stories “Mad Libs” style. They also had fun jumping on the trampoline and including the other kids in playing together.
After K left, I decided to work with Philip to come up with his own story- all in his own words. The only words that are mine are “Long ago…”
Here is Philip’s story:
LONG AGO THERE WAS A TOY.
IT WAS STOLEN.
NO ONE REMEMBERED IT.
IT WAS SMART.
IT RAN INTO A DARK ROCKY CAVE.
YET IT SURVIVED.
NO ONE SAVED IT.
IT WANTED TO PLAY.
I asked Philip if I could read it out loud to my other kids. Philip pointed “Y.” Carlos immediately made the connection to the character “Lotso” from Toy Story 3. We had watched that movie as a family last weekend. For those of you who haven’t seen Toy Story 3, Lotso Huggin Bear, or “Lotso” was the main antagonist in the movie. The part Philip is referring to, though not exactly as it is portrayed in the movie, is the backstory segment of Lotso’s abandonment. Lotso used to be the favorite toy of his owner Daisy. One day Daisy’s family went out for a picnic and accidentally left Lotso and two other toys behind. The toys love Daisy and brave their way back home, only to find that Lotso has been replaced by another Lotso Huggin Bear. Lotso becomes a forgotten and discarded toy that eventually winds up at Sunnyside Daycare. He becomes a bitter soul, taking out his anger on the other toys who make their way to the Day Care as donations. Lotso never does find redemption in the movie as he meets his bitter end strapped to the grill of a semitruck.
Philip’s story amuses me on several levels. The fact he even wrote a story is the first thing! He hadn’t written a story all his own since May, when he wrote about the 4 Legged Man with Soma. Secondly, he was paying attention to the movie, remembering it, and processing it in a deep way. Though I am not certain Philip was even referring to Lotso, it does seem like it. Alll the others toys in Toy Story 3 were saved. Only Lotso had a bad fate. Philip even seems sympathetic to Lotso, calling him “smart” and a survivor. Most other kids would not look so kindly to Lotso. I wonder if Philip can identify with Lotso, or at least the character in his story. Perhaps Philip is the toy in the story.
Philip never ceases to amaze me. I love Philip’s story, but I will try to make sure he doesn’t end up like Lotso.
At Magic Kingdom Feb. 2011