Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making up stories and other stupid parenting mistakes

Cole loves reading. He won't play with a toy for more than a half second, but he'll read Curious George over and over. He loves Biscuit, quotes Loonette, and will point out if I miss a word in Little Bear Won't Take a Nap. He will insist on leafing through one book while I read another. This drives me crazy. I test him. I will replace "witch" with, say, "ghost" to see if he is listening. Sure enough his little head will pop up and he'll correct me.

Honestly, I love that he reads. I have so many fond memories of getting lost in a book--even as a youngster. I would read The Berenstain Bears over and over, Raggedy Ann and Andy's Rainy Day Circus was falling apart. It's an amazing feeling to get lost among words.

It's a horrible feeling to trip over.

Once upon a time, a very foolish mother made the mistake of deciding to be Super Mom and make up her  own stories. Now she is stuck.

Every night before bed (and nap!) I have to "tell the one about Coco [Cole's story name] and the witch's mask," or "tell me about Coco goes to the bus stop," or "say the one where Coco scares Grandma," and on and on.I'm not a very creative storyteller. I don't think well on the spot. Couple these things with a two-year-old who thrives on consistency and doesn't really want to go to sleep and you got a messy situation.

One thing I've learned to do well is plagiarize. No, not my blog or in my professional life (I am a writer of brochures, web sites and other not-so-literary works). But I will admit to ripping off Mother Goose and Hans Christian Anderson (my favorite child's author!). I do so unapologetically. I can't just keep coming up with masterpieces such as Coco Puts on a Witch's Mask and Scares Santa to please my son. Especially at 8 p.m. when How I Met Your Mother is on.

Anyway, on Sunday night, Cole stays at his Grandma's house. She too has learned to steal from the masters and she made up a story about a little girl named Goldie Locks (at least I change names for Pete's sake!) and the Three Bears. Yesterday afternoon when Cole went down for his nap, he wanted to hear this story. No problem. I start telling the story relieved that I don't have to make anything up. Here is where the consistency thing comes in to play. My version is different than my mom's. This leads to many protests on his part.

Tired and frustrated, he finally looked at me and said, "Stop. I don't want you to tell me about this one  anymore."

I wonder if I start messing up all of the made-up stories if I could get out my role as storyteller altogether? It's worth considering.


Momisodes said...

I don't blame you one bit for stealing from great childrens authors. I sometimes do the same :)

sky girl said...

Ha! I'm gonna try to not even start that one. :)

Anne said...

Good idea, sky!

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