I have a confession to make. There are certain aspects of motherhood that I just really don’t like. One of them is making up stories. I don’t know why, but I hate to make up stories. I love reading books to my kids. I love telling people stories of things that have actually happened (hence the blog). I just don’t like making them up. Punkin loves when I make up stories. I still haven’t figured out why, because let me tell you, it’s not my gift. There is only one kind of story I make up, and it is a story line that started with my dad. He would use tales of a little girl named Mariska to teach me valuable life lessons. Poor Mariska was kidnapped, almost drowned, hit by cars, suffered severe burns, was poisoned, the list goes on. Mariska was a curious little girl who didn’t listen to the all-knowing advice of her parents, and thusly suffered the consequences. I’m somewhat amazed that these stories didn’t traumatize me. But they didn’t, so these are the only stories I now make up for Punkin, and she loves them. I’ve added a character, Mariska’s troublesome friend Baryshnikov, to the tales. They lose TV privileges (forever), miss field trips, get lost in the woods, have to eat nothing but vegetables until they go to college. Punkin thinks they’re hysterical, thank God. At least I can put minimal effort into made-up story time.
On nights when I really don’t feel like exerting my creative juices, I stall the process by saying, “Okay, I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time. The end.” Punkin cracks up. “Mommy! That’s not a story!” At least it buys me a little time. Time to come up with some lame story about how Mariska had to live in the garbage can until she remembered to do her chore of taking the trash out. But despite my disdain for this activity, Punkin loves it. And Punkin has no idea that I don’t love it. So let’s just keep that our little secret, shall we?