If you've been reading this for a decent length of time you'll know that part of the routine of putting my daughter to bed is that I have to make up a story based around the same simple principles. Essentially these are her asking, "tell me about the time you were a little...." and then she'll think of something. Usually food. Which she then eats. And then shits out. It's delightful. Lately I've tended to be not-food items - like a Teddy bear or (most recently) a light bulb.
This is going to sound unlikely but it is actually quite mellow and cutesy. For example, if I was telling her about the time I was a little banana I would breezily move through the eating part like this -:
"And then, much to my surprise she peeled me and ate me all up in one go! Just like that!"
So you see how nice and almost cheeky that is. Even the part later on where I'm defecated and flushed away is of such cuteness that if it were made into a movie kids all over the world would eagerly snuggle up to giant three-foot post-banana turd plush-thing that the movie marketing department had pushed as the big Christmas toy this year. Actually I even had this idea to have two scratch-and-sniff tags on it - one a Before tag and one and After tag.
Anyway, yesterday my daughter flat out told my wife that my stories are nicer. She used the word, "nicer" specifically. My wife heard the word, "better." While I have no doubt that they are actually better, my daughter was focusing on the word "better." And here's why.
Yesterday it was my turn to put my daughter to bed. And she really wanted me to. She had descended into a raging whirlwind of excitability (I'm sure you all remember the, "YOU ARE THE PARTY POOPER" football-style chant she bellowed at me) and wanted nothing more than for me to cuddle her to sleep to show that everything was all okay. My wife though was desperate to do so herself. Her only experience of her daughter yesterday was the end of the hysterical fit. Which pretty much involved my daughter seeming to calm down, suddenly bursting with insane sadness and wailing. My wife even tried an old trick of asking her to cry quieter and then describe how she felt. Unfortunately this led to my daughter screaming, "MAMA!!!!" over and over again for fifteen minutes. Which seemed to make my daughter want me to put her to bed more, and for my wife to want to do it even more so. So, I intervened and told a very sensitive girl that her mother was going to. She welled up. "But don't worry! Oh no!! Because tonight your mother is going to tell you about the time she was a little.....omelette!"
Her eyes lit up. You could see that she thought that might be cool. To seal the deal I even pointed out that it's really two stories in one, because in the beginning it's a story about a little egg. She bought it! Go Team go!
This is where it apparently all went to crap. Now, she did go through the bedroom routine and go to sleep. No problems there. She slept the whole night too. And this morning was sunny and delightful. I even askedm y wife how bedtime went and she said it was good. But the important point is that when my wife came downstairs and settled down to finally get some rest after a long day, then said, "good" as a summary to the bedtime, she then chose to say, "man - those stories are really violent." Which is really weird because a) she said it like even though she told the story that night somehow I was still culpable for making it somehow violent, and b) that even though she knew what she was saying was disturbingly violent she went ahead and told it anyway.
Violent? okay I kind of get it. But as can be seen above I managed to make it breezy and light. So I asked what was so violent. "Well, first I had to tell her that a little girl picked me up as an egg and then smashed my body aggressively against the side of a bowl until my egg-blood could fall out. In fact she whacked me so hard that a little bit of the egg-blood just shot out all over her hand. Then she ripped my entire body into two parts and dumped my guts, organs and mushed up smashed brains into a bowl, and stabbed them with a whisk and shook my bits quickly into a tornado to make sure I could never ever be reassembled if such a thing could be done. Then, if any part of me had any consciousness left I was viciously thrust into a burning volcano-hot frying pan. While I was literally having my insides burned my crushed useless body was then thrown violently into a garbage disposal, drowned and then annihilated after a little girl ("named Evelyn!!!" she gleefully cried!) pressed the garbage disposal button.
And then, much to my surprise she ate me all up in one go! Just like that!"
What. The. Fuck. So I explained to my wife that this is precisely why my stories are, "nicer." She countered with, "you literally crap her out every night." To which I counter-countered with, "Yes but I crap her out tastefully."
And that, after all is what I want you to take away from this entry. That being that using all your parenting smarts and child-rearing skills you too can avoid filling your little ugly children with horrifying nightmare-fuel, and instead tell stories where you shit them out in an age-appropriate fashion.