Monday, July 25, 2011

Bedtime Block

I have lots of stories inside my head. I am a writer. I want to write all these stories. But...I'm TERRIBLE at telling bedtime stories. I've written two children's books, so you'd think I have it in me.

It doesn't help, of course, that my son is so particular about his stories. If he grows wings in his story, then he might scream "This is not a flying story!" Or the garbage can may be allowed to grow legs and try to eat him. And a tree may grow legs without protest and also try to eat him. But the moon growing legs and trying to eat him?? Forget it! Not a lot of license for creativity here.

Yet, he BEGS me for stories in spite of my constant failures to produce. Tonight he asked me for one, but we'd already had a very long, drawn-out bedtime. I told him that I just didn't have it in me, but I would think about it and tell him one at breakfast.

So tell me ladies! Give me some good bedtime story ideas because I'm all out!


  1. Mine always star my children as main characters (sounds like yours do too!) and they involve them doing a very ordinary thing when something extraordinary happens. Usually they have a favorite stuffed animal who is their friend in the story and helps them out, and usually there is some kind of a problem (brought on by whatever extraordinary thing happens) that they must solve. Typically there is a pattern of 3- 3 things they have to find or do, so each of those is like a little adventure in itself. Then once the problem gets resolved there is always ice cream at the end.

    If he's really particular about his stories you could always have him help you tell the story- say, "and then suddenly he saw a......." and let him fill in the blanks. You could even just sit down together and make "story jars", one for places, one for characters, and one for things. Then if you reach a point where you get stuck, you can reach in the jar and inspire your imagination. Just a thought! :-)

    Obviously you're an awesome mom to be so willing to delight the imaginations of your children. Good for you!!

  2. Thanks Kasey! I love the story jar idea. I think my son would really for that!

  3. Eeep. I'm like you! I'm the worst at telling stories. I do really good if they're real--and thank goodness my life is crazy enough the kids are entertained... but when it comes to telling a silly one, they're really hard! lol!


  4. Jenni, that's another good point- some of my kids' favorite bedtime stories are the ones my husband and I tell them about our childhood (my husband's stories are more exciting than mine- things like handcuffing his friend to a tree, climbing onto the roof to escape from his mom, sneaking out in the middle of the night, etc.- wait, do I want him telling them these stories?). Those stories are always fun to reminisce about and tell.

  5. We read a lot of bedtime books, but I have never actually had to make up a story for my kids! How bad is that? I think that is so fun that you do and it sounds like he is just helping you be more and more creative! What fun. :)

  6. Jenni-It's like writing sucks all the creativity out, so by bedtime we have nothing left...right?

    Kasey-My son does like real-life stories, but they are usually lacking a REALLY EVIL VILLAIN, so he is a bigger fan of the made-up.

    Abby-That's a good way of looking at it-my son is challenging me. :)

  7. My son is really into Star Wars stories and superhero stories right now. He doesn't know anything about Star Wars except that there are robots named R2D2 and C3PO that are AWESOME, so the stories are usually about how he and his little sister go to "Star Wars World" and do lots of cool things with the robots.

    The stories always center around him saving the day and his sister being his sidekick (since she's two, he gets a real kick whenever she talks in the stories, because she's always messing up the words, like calling C3PO "C-Pee-Pee-O").

    Tonight I told him a story about how the four of us were actually spies and had to go on a secret mission to save Spiderman from Doc Oc. And we all had secret weapons: Daddy had a light saber that made the floor shake when he touched it to the ground; Mommy had Chinese stars that attached to people like little tracking devices; my son had a little bottle that would squirt out anything that he needed, whether it was ice cream or sleeping potion; and our two-year-old had a medallion around her neck that enabled her to fly, along with anyone else who grabbed on to her arm.

    Yeah, I must say, I was especially proud of that story. Usually I'm not so good.



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