Monday, February 16, 2009

Two bedtime stories

I am at the computer. It's almost bedtime. John crawls into the room.

"Mama, mama."

"What is it?"

"I need someting dat's fun-fun-fun. I need a toy to pway wit."

"Oh. Well, how about if I carry you in to Daddy and put you on the bed and you can wrestle!"

"No! I need a toy dat's fun-fun-fun fo me to pway wit."


I let him play with this little unknown object on the side of my computer. If you push it, a stick thing pops out. If you push the stick thing, it goes back in. Then I try again.

"I know. I'm going to Carry you in to Daddy, and you're going to see his Newspaper, and you're going to Go up to that newspaper and KNOCK it down!"

-pause- "O-KAY!"

We make a big deal of stomping across the house to find Daddy to knock the newspaper down (the universal sign for bedtime wrestling). Then I get the beds ready and check on sister, who has a fever. I feel helpless and guilty. I give her what I can think of, but I'd rather make it all better. I wonder if she has a fever because today was her day off from school, and all we did was let her go to grandma's house while John went to appointments. No, she had a sore throat for two days. No. Maybe.

I lie with the kids while they fall asleep. John goes right out. Sister is mostly asleep. She tosses and turns.


John has a new project of talking himself to sleep. He tells little bedtime stories that he makes up, and repeats them over and over. Sometimes he drifts off, wakes up and repeats them a little more. The first one ever was a summary of a Barney story about a strange noise heard at bedtime that turns out to be a squirrel outside the window, eating a nut.

The second story is mysterious to me. It starts, "Dirt, is hard." You have to pronounce dirt with no r to get it right. "Mommy, is dirt. Dirt, goes in the eh-uh-fa-do."

There is one last crucial sentence in the story, but it is completely unintelligible.

At this point I would say, "John, did you say dirt?"


"Did you say dirt goes in the elevator?"

"No! Dat's not what I said. I said someting ewse."

"Oh. I'm sorry."

Then he would tell the story again.

We went through the question about did you say dirt goes in the elevator, so many times, that he has changed his story. After "Dirt, goes in the eh-uh-fa-do" he now says, "I'm sowwy. Dat's okay. I said someting ewse" and then the final sentence.

Last night's was about a duck. "I heard a noise," he begins. "I heard a duck, going ring, ring, ring. It was a quacky duck. I heard a quacky duck going ring, ring, ring. I heard a quacky duck going quack, quack, quack."

I'm glad I could keep myself from asking for clarification with the duck story. And it's kind of nice to have someone tell me a bedtime story, even if he's mostly telling himself. Cause I'm going to have several bedtimes tonight, one for every time I wake up to check on sister.

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