Bedtime stories

Every night, they ask the same question. “will you tell us a story, Mama?” and every night, though I am certain I will kick myself in the teeth later, I cringe and beg them not to make me. The problem is not that I don’t like talking to them. And it is not that I don’t appreciate that they want to hear what I have to say. And I am not too busy.

The problem is that I am out of material.
Way out.

I’ve told them every interesting Little Missy story I have, from the driving the car through the plate glass window when I was 2 to burning down the kitchen when I was 10. (My iPad just tried to autocorrect burning to “brining.” Brining down the house would be a new twist on an old story!) I have a lot of good stories. I did a lot of weird stuff as a kid. But you can only tell the same story so many times, ya know?

Last night, when I groaned over having to think too hard, AG said, “just tell an old one, Mama. We don’t mind hearing a repeat.” Good thing. Because I was fresh out of thinking cap juice.

“OK,” I conceded. “Real quick I will tell you about the time I got my dog.”

And I proceeded to tell them this bad version of the story. When I was 5, turning 6…or was it 6 turning 7 (I will wait to hear from Mom on this one), we were told that we were getting a very different kind of Christmas gift. What is it? What is it? We were dying to know. We had been begging for a dog for quite awhile, but we had no idea anyone was listening. We had been given the stock answers that come from the Status Quo Manual of Parenting. You won’t take care of it. I will end up doing everything. Dogs are too much trouble. They are dirty. Etc. All of that would end up being true. My brother and I did jack squat to take care of that dog. Oh, I blew the storyline, didn’t I? Now you know I was getting a dog that Christmas. As if.

Anyway, we still didn’t know. All we knew was that we had to go to Crawfordville to look at something. You probably haven’t been to Crawfordville and probably know nothing about it. Say the word to yourself. What does that conjure up in your mind? Yeah, it was that kind of place. Scarytown. When we pulled up outside a dirty little shack, my brother and I had fear in our hearts. Were Mom and Dad going to sell us? Were we about to meet our real parents?

Of course, I am just being an idiot right now. I have to embellish the story to keep the boys awake. And you.

Outside this little shack was a cardboard box. Inside that box were puppies. Poodle-terrier mixes. Adorable. My parents made the announcement that we could pick out a puppy and before they could finish their sentence, we were screaming the shrill screams of kids at a carnival.

We had no trouble agreeing on the puppy for us. It was the small, white one. And his name was Benji.

And we loved him, though we did jack squat to care for him.

And that was the story I told the kids.

“That’s how I got my.dog,” I said.

Mama’s Boy, who seemed almost asleep, spoke up in a quiet voice.

“I thought you said you were going to tell us how you got your BLOG.”

“Oh o, boy, that’s a really boring story,” I replied, chuckling.

“How DID you get your blog, Mama?” AG asked, interested.

“I designed it and I started writing.”

“You’re right, Mama. That isn’t an interesting story.”

Ha. At least you don’t have to read it, boy. At least there’s that.

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4 thoughts on “Bedtime stories

  1. the first pics i could find of benji were at christmas, 1976, so you were getting ready to turn 6. i’d like to add he was an outside dog! i recall we had picked out a female brown one, but she did look too scroungy when we got to crawfordville!

  2. I’m having thoughts of Crawfordville and Family Vacation all at the same time! Thanks, Missy. Now, what can I do to clear my head?

    Great kids, btw.

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