The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, September 10, 2007


I can't believe I've never said anything about this. More than a year ago, on a long drive home from a friend's house (darn you, Becky!) C was getting very antsy and whiny, and I thought the perfect solution would be to tell him a story. I think it was the three pigs. He ate it up. Loved it. Asked for it again and again, until he started asking for new ones. Every single time we got into the car he'd ask for a story. I went through every story I had ever heard. Stories became a reward. Punishments became not telling stories. When I finally ran out of ideas we started making up our own stories. It was pretty fun at first but I have to admit that it didn't take long for my creative juices to run dry. I don't know if I can express to you how many stories I have told. If you heard me now, you would think me a wicked witch. My dear sweet boy says, "Mommy, could you please tell me a story?" What mother wouldn't love to hear that? But I have started to come up with every and any excuse I can find to not have to tell a story. My muscles tense a little when I hear him say that because I dread it so much. I don't know why. I just can't think of any more stories! Especially because we got into a pattern of me requiring C to come up with the characters and plot of each story, as a delay tactic, me hoping we could make it home before he was done deciding. Unfortunately, he usually comes up with the same idea every single time.

The conversation goes like this:

C: Mommy, can you please tell me a story?

M: (after a long tired pause, during which I'm unable to think of a kind way to say NOOOOOOOO!") Who's in our story?

C: gives a list of characters, usually including family members, movie characters and/or several dinosaurs.

M: What's happening in our story?

C then goes on to give the setting of our narrative. He gets into grooves. For a while it was all about The Incredibles playing in our back yard, and then it was Dinotopia, and then it was Jurassic Park III...He'll tell me like 10 different dinosaurs and people who are "On Jurassic Park III" and then I'm supposed to come up with what happens next. I know, I know. I sound so bitter. It really was fun for a long time, but can you imagine trying to tell three or four stories every day for a year? I will admit, sometimes I get a fun idea and get rolling still, but it doesn't happen often any more.

The reason I thought of this whole part of my life that I feel needs to be recorded for future generations was because of a funny comment C made last night. We're driving home from Troy's co-worker's home in Layton. C says, "Mommy, are you done taking a story break?" (Now you know my latest excuse) and Troy gallantly steps in (after only a little pleading from me) and asks C, "Who's in our story?" He replied, "Me, mommy, my friend Sydney, a Spinosaurus, a Celophysis, and a Velociraptor with a broken toenail." Piece of cake, right? I mean, once you've got a Velociraptor with a broken toenail, the story just kind of tells itself. Not.


ghd3 said...

I love the stories. Our challenge in the car is wanting snacks. The story requests come after lights-out. While I love telling them, there are plenty of occasions when -- as you mention -- the creative juices just aren't flowing, and my story is usually a recounting of the day from my daughters' perspectives, i.e. I am telling a story that recounts what they've told me about their day. Not always the most intersesting stories, perhaps, but they usually seem to pass muster.

ghd3 said...

and, oh yes, #1 does like to set them up with the context, characters, etc. Oftentimes, she'll go so far as to describe in great detail what the story is about, essentially telling the whole story for me (though she then wants it told back). The challenge then is being able to recall exactly how the story is supposed to go....

Kath said...

Oh my gosh! He cracks me up! I feel the same way about stories...I just can't produce an exciting one when put on the spot. Luckily, my kids don't ask for a story very often. Can't wait to hear what C comes up with next!