Storytelling for Phoebe.
To help Phoebe cope with the loneliness at work it was recommended to me that playing the radio for her might be a good idea. I thought about it, and not only is it something that is easy to implement, but I also realised that when I’m home I have a radio playing in the kitchen all the time out of habit. I like the soothing sound of it playing as I wonder around the house cooking and doing chores, so she must be used to it as well, and if I leave during the day I can imagine that she especially feels the “loudness” of silence if it’s off.
And they say that music soothes the savage beast, so why not try it out?
At first I kept the radio on my usual channel, but realised that it’s a student rock station so perhaps that wasn’t the best option. Next I tried our local talk radio station and I noticed a slightly relaxed and positive change in her at the times when it was on, unfortunately though the signal was weak and kept drifting in and out. At this point a friend recommended that I record myself talking and play it for her during the days. I laughed at this ridiculous suggestion.
But then I thought about her suggestion more and more, and even though it sounded like a silly idea to record myself, I realised there may be a very valid point to the suggestion. I decided to try it out.
I found a basic downloadable program (Apowersoft Free Audio Recorder) to record myself, took out the mic I have from the early skyping days when I had a laptop without a built-in mic and sat in front of the computer ready to record. I waited for inspiration on what to say. I waited and waited, but came up blank. What can you fill an hour long broadcast of yourself with?! (Related note: I have newfound respect for talk radio DJ’s! 🙂 )
And then it hit me! I would record stories for her! After careful consideration I decided that the best would be to pull out all the old fairy tale books and give those shot. I settled on a collection of Aesop’s Fables.
Now I know that this is all silly and I’m borderline anthropomorphising, but my reasoning for choosing Aesops Fables was:
1) The stories are short, so I could record full stories in between doing chores
2) The stories are all so wholesome and more often than not are about animals overcoming hardship from either people or daily struggles. That appealed to me as being apt for Phoebe.
3) There are different characters and storylines so I could use different pitches and tones to keep it less boring.
4) I could easily fill many cd’s without having to scratch around to find materials to read – it was all there.
5) The recordings can now double up as “stocking-filler” gifts for family and friends with babies.
Like most people, I felt self conscious about recording myself (and worse, having to listen to the playback!), but I kept in mind that it was all for a good cause!
Now I have a 70 minute cd with 12 stories interspersed with short clips of me telling her she’s a “good girl”. I put this disc on repeat when I leave in the mornings. I’m not 100% sure it works, but I like to think it does.
Phoebe’s Effectiveness Summary:
Issue Addressed: Separation Anxiety, Appealing to her Aural Senses
Tool(s) Used: Computer, Recording Software, Book of Fairy Tales, Writeable CD
Cost: Low. Assuming you have a computer with basic features you just need to pick the right book to read.
Ease of Implementation: Low. Once made, you literally just press a button when leaving.
Phoebe’s Effectiveness Rating: 3/5. I can’t say for certain that this works well, but I think it works, and hey, it can’t harm, can it?