I quite like making up stories.
Now, if you’ve read this blog before and especially if you also follow my other blog, Honest Speaks, this will come as no great surprise. What might be surprising though, is that even I have my limits.
Not long after Mushroom realised that a bedtime story without a book is one made up by Mummy or Daddy, he started to demand them and add his own details to them. At first this was cute. He’d add the friends he’d most recently seen as major characters and tell me what was going to happen next. I’d go with the flow and adapt to his suggestions.
After a while he started to tell me that my stories were “too wrong” and correct details that I had added in at his request. As you can imagine this became a bit tiresome. It’s also hard to limit storytime if he keeps adding details to a made-up story so that it goes on… and on… and on…
It didn’t take long for me to realise that usually the additions to these stories are his way of processing the day’s events, especially things that have particularly affected him – either positively or negatively. So we’ve had stories about friends shouting at each other, stories about kids being naughty and getting told off, and more recently, repeated stories about holidays to Turkey and going to watch fireworks.
I really want to foster his creativity and I know that repetition is important for him to process major life events but there are days when he’s up at 6.30, jumping into our bed, shouting “Mummy make up a story!” with further requests for the same story (with minor changes) at regular intervals right up until he finally falls asleep at the end of the day.
No let me be clear, I’m not complaining (well ok maybe I am sometimes, a little). There is nothing wrong with Mushroom asking for the same story over and over. It’s a healthy part of his development and I love his creativity. I mean, in his stories he takes all his nursery friends on holiday with him and they stop ‘naughty’ dragons and witches not by fighting but by telling them they love them and becoming friends! Mushroom is just perfect. But I am not. Some days I tell him “I’m just going to read a book, ok? NO MORE MADE UP STORIES!” or even “Mummy has been making up stories all day and is tired. Read yourself” and I hand him a book he knows and can ‘read’ himself. This usually ends in tears though, as it doesn’t help him process whatever is going on in his head at the end of the day. Still, like I said, sometimes I have my limits.
Do you make up stories for your kids? Do you ever get fed up with it? I’m especially interested in those who regularly make up stories for work too – is it just me who doesn’t always have the patience? Please share in the comments below and reassure me I’m not the only imperfect parent in the room!