Bad Bed-Time Stories

Publish date:
May 12, 2011
parenting, family drama

So last night I was telling Charlotte her usual made-up story before bed. It has happened before that I am falling asleep as I tell the story but words keep coming out of my mouth in about the same rhythm and she interrupts me with, "That doesn't make any sense." I don't know if everyone has that ability to keep talking when they are asleep, but it comes very naturally to me, maybe a talent honed by doing TV (where it matters about 5 percent what you say and about 95 percent how you look while you say it) and now by being the sole host of a two-hour live radio talk show (in other words, keep words coming out even when you have nothing to say).

I had to re-start last night's story three times because it kept drifting into work stress. Here's what I mean: Charlotte had asked me earlier in the day about the meaning of Ground Hog's Day and I figured that was a natural for a bed-time story so I saved it for then and she's lying down and I'm propped up on some pillows next to her and I'm telling about Puxatawney Phil and how he's running around underground and there are all these other groundhogs there and so I make an arrangement to give them all jobs. That's the first instance of Charlotte interrupting me to tell me I'm not making sense.

The next time, I try again to tell the Groundhog Day origins story and all of these reporters are standing around waiting to see Puxatawney Phil pop his head up and, I have to ask Charlotte for confirmation on this one, but I think I then start talking to the reporters about xoJane or something lame. Charlotte interrupts me again. I decide to try a different storyline.

Often I make up stories about girls with uncommon names and their highjinks (first time in my life I've ever written that word -- feel free to edit me there anyone who wants to, but not anyone on staff, just readers). So my third story attempt last night was about a girl named something like Marigold (again, I will fact-check this with Charlotte), and something like this happened: When a girl teased her in the yard at school, I said that I would get the teacher's help and make sure all the contributors are on track in time for launch.

I gave up after that and just asked Charlotte to close her eyes and relax (anyway, being JP: Worst Mom In The World, it was already well after 10 p.m. on a school night). The direction the stories took as I fell asleep seems like a little insight into my subconcious and what has been making me feel randomly off-and-on adrenalized for the last month or two. I thought it was hormones shifting and that might be an added factor, but about the work as stressor, I mean, duh.

P.S. [8:51 pm] Charlotte now informs me that the girl in the final story last night was named Chris Chloe Coretta Cool and that I said that I would get her to interview someone.