Perfecting the Art of the BedTime Story

So I've started telling the kids bedtime stories after our pajamas/brush teeth/ read books routine. I have fond memories of the stories my Grandma used to tell my cousins and me. I have dreams of finely crafting tales over the course of several years that are memorable and poignant. Stories with universal themes that will be remembered for decades... maybe someday I'll actually write them all down. Maybe publish them and retire on Disney movie royalties.

But so far they have all fallen much more into the 'ramblings of an exhausted father' category and not so much into the 'Making Lewis Carroll jealous any time soon' category. I love the *idea* of spontaneously weaving a bedtime story. I just suck at it.

I'll ask the kids who they want in the story, figuring that they'd be at least mildly interested if they got to pick the characters. So my first story was about a Lion and a horse. The next one was about a Bear and a pony, and the latest one was about Joey (whoever that is) and God.

Joey, as the story goes, never cleaned his room. At this point, my cousins are rolling their eyes because they know that I ripped this one straight from my deceased Grandma's storybook. But regardless of my plagiarism, Joey goes on to have a Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout experience, except instead of the story being masterfully brought to life by Shel Silverstein, it was mumbled out by me in a darkened bedroom, squinting at the ceiling, trying desperately to put together the basic storyline, let alone any details.

Eventually though, I did sputter through it to the grand finale,

"... and then by the time his room was clean, they had filled 14 garbage trucks FULL of toys. THE END and Good Night," I said.

"Wait Daddy, what about God?" Yordi asked.

"Oh... right... um, and God said, 'Good job Joey! I'm very proud of you' THE END."


"Ok Time for bed, Goodnight!" and I hustled out of there.

Grandma would have been so very, very proud.


kangaj1 said...

Aidan is obsessed by the Ninja Turtles, so every day before he gets on the bus for school he gets the next installment of the "ninja turtles go to school" story--we totally make it up on the spot. It started with the first week of school and now we have to keep it up! We're homeschooling next year, so we'll see if we still need to keep it up then. :)
Melissa Juvinall

Windchimes said...

I pretty much stink at the 'making up a story on the spot' thing too. I remember one memorable story about a dragon (I was telling this to little Kai, who was maybe 3 or 4) and a little boy. The dragon at one point grabbed the little boy's sister and flew off with her... I was envisioning something heroic that the little boy would accomplish. Little did I know that I was emotionally scarring the little kid, who was upset enough about that idea (he had a baby sister-Noe-at that time) that he started crying. What was going to be a neat story about a heroic little boy saving the little girl turned into a wussy story about a nice dragon who just wanted to play with the little girl and have a picnic with her.