Silas went to see Charlotte’s Web at JMU Children’s Playshop last weekend. On the way there, he talked about it nonstop. He listened to the audio book a few months ago (which is AWESOME—read by EB White!), so he knew the story. He also met a pig a few weeks ago, and kept saying, “Pigs are my favorite!” It was sold out when we got there (which I did NOT expect), and I hadn’t preordered tickets. As luck would have it, a family from church had a spare ticket that they offered us. Another friend let Silas sit with her (since we only had one ticket, I waited in the lobby). I was very grateful that Silas has been going to plays since he was only a couple of months old–I knew he’d be fine sitting with my friend, that he has good theater manners (his table manners, on the other hand….let’s just say, I’m glad it’s not a dinner theater!).

Getting his program signed by Wilbur

He loved it, of course. Memorable moments: At some point, Farmer Zuckerman put his hat on Wilbur (?). Wilbur goes to the fair with “Charlotte and the scary spider” (Templeton is described, variously, as “the scary spider,” “the wolf,” and “the big mouse”). Charlotte’s babies are a frequent topic of conversation.

Posing with Charlotte (she said she remembered him from last year, when she was in The Velveteen Rabbit, which he also loved.


Silas is fascinated by the idea that the actors change out of their costumes and go home to regular houses and are also normal people. He kept saying, “I want them to come over to my house and we can have a party. We can put on costumes and be animals and be actors!”

In his imaginative play, he’s been Wilbur, I’ve been Charlotte, Petra has been Fern, and Ender has been Templeton. JC sometimes is Homer Zuckerman, and sometimes is Avery, and mostly is “the big boy chicken” (the Gander). Silas’ play frequently goes like this:

“Hi Charlotte, how are you doing, Charlotte?”

“I’m fine, Wilbur.”

“Are you Charlotte?”

“Yes. Are you Wilbur?”

“Yes. Are we being Charlotte and Wilbur?”

If I don’t include the vocative attribution, he asks for it (“Mama, you have to say my Wilbur name!”).

The other day, though, he started doing something interesting. He pretended to be Wilbur after the play, taking care of Charlotte’s babies.

Carrying a baby spider

He carried them carefully and rocked them in his hands. He even gave them a bath!

Bathing a baby spider

He also did a dance inspired by the play, but the photos don’t look like much. This week, he says he wants to be an actor. I’m not sure how I feel about that.


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  1. […] offered him a picture that he had drawn as a thank-you note to the family that gave him a ticket to Charlotte’s Web and suggested that he might like to write “Wilbur” on it. He agreed and asked me how to […]

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