I once asked Helen why I became her puppet and not one of all the others she could have chosen. “Didn’t you like that one?” I asked her, but it wasn’t, she liked more she said but with me there was something extra, something she called ‘a click’ and what that was she couldn’t explain, ‘it was a feeling’ she said. “It felt that you were the right puppet for me.” Ok, pretty vague, but lucky for me then.
After that, we had to get to know each other, of course. Because I do want to feel comfortable with that hand in my head, of course, and not feel like I’m sitting on a complete stranger’s lap. We had to be friends, and that often starts with asking each other the question, doesn’t it? So, I did, I wanted to know everything about her, just as she wanted to know everything about me. I had to find out if I liked her because if I don’t like her, I’d rather not be with her. I may be a puppet, but I’m not crazy, I don’t just let myself be put in front of her and when we are friends I also want to be listened to, that I also have something to say and not only for fun, that I’m only there to get children to talk and stuff, I don’t lend myself to that. I only hope to do that if I can be myself in it too.
Helen allowed me to, I had to be myself, she thought that was important, I could ask her what I wanted and also say when I didn’t like something about her, she wants me to feel as safe with her as that the children feel with me.
Also read: the hand puppet as a pedagogical tool