WHEN BEDTIME STORIES TAKE A TURN FOR THE…
In recent weeks, I started making up bedtime stories when putting Amélie to bed. At first, I was quite impressed with how I came up with a JJ Abrams-esque sequel and prequel to Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. I seemed to be doing pretty well, at first, but lost (no pun intended) my audience with a somewhat convoluted plot one night.
It was about then that Amélie decided to start telling me what the stories should be about, and began introducing pregnant characters, and babies at every opportunity.
Last night, during one of my tales involving The 3 Little Dragon-Slaying Pigs, she interrupted me and started dictating how the story needed to take a different path to the obviously less than enthralling one it was on. Well, the audience is always right, right?
The story so far was this: the 3 Little Pigs – Kevin, Stuart and Dave – had been called in by Mr. Locks (Goldi’s dad) to help with a dragon invasion at Center Parcs, where Goldilocks, her family, and the 3 Friendly Bears were holidaying together.
The 3 Little Pigs had built somewhat of a reputation as dragon slayers thanks to having a robot dinosaur that, at the click of a button, could grow to the size of a tall tree. They could then climb inside the robot and control it, much like the classic cartoon, Voltron, which I watched as a kid, or more recently, Pacific Rim. Pretty cool tech, if you ask me.
Needless to say, the 3 Little Pigs frightened the heck out of the dragon, who retreated after a misfire resulting in him burning his own bottom, leaving all of the holidaymakers celebrating in an open field, having a massive picnic. It seemed a good place to end an action-packed story, in my humble opinion.
However… Amélie was of a different opinion because, evidently, the absence of pregnant characters and/or babies had left the story lacking and unbalanced, leaning too heavily towards technology and special effects. In much the same way as Tim Burton makes movies based on weird and psychologically questionable stuff that he would like to watch, I had been selfish. And yet, I was so close to the finish line, lights out, and a quiet evening. But that would have to wait.
“Amélie,” I said, “Why do you keep interrupting me when I’m trying to tell you a story? You asked for a made-up story rather than one of your books, and I’m telling you one. I’m putting my heart and soul into this, despite being absolutely shattered after a grueling day at work. My brain is tired, Amélie. Why can’t you just let me finish?” I looked at her with pleading, bloodshot eyes.
Amélie, who had waited patiently for me to finish jabbering, didn’t blink. “I want you to say whatever I say because it’s not a fun story,” she said, adjusting herself under her duvet. There seemed to be no harsh judgment, as far as she was concerned. She just didn’t like that the story had ended without the mention of any pregnancies or babies.
I sighed and massaged one of my already tense shoulders, not ready to give up just yet. “Ah!” I said, a glimmer of hope in my eye, but possibly not visible through their dark pink colour. “But the dragon has already been defeated! He burnt his bottom, remember? And the pigs put the Growing Robot Dinosaur back in their car. How will they defend themselves if he returns right now?”
Enter the Pregnant Dragon with 5 Babies.
Now, I must confess that I didn’t know this, but apparently a combination of dipping your burnt bottom in ice water, and subsequent application of aloe vera gel, can change everything. Clearly I have a lot to learn.
I wonder who will have a baby tonight.