Tonight was one of those nights...you know the times you just hold on and hope that bedtime will come sooner. And once they are in bed, you just hope that they will fall asleep to afford you a break - just a small break.
I think it started with a finger nail accidentally being cut too short - we're not talking about too short in my opinion - just in his. Anyhow, it turned into a bawling, shouting, screaming performance. And when one child cries, others follow.
Somehow, I was able to stay calm (I was secretly laughing at the performance which helps me keep my sanity). But, by the time all bodies were in bed, the crying was still not over. The performance was clearly moving to the second act. So, I had to resort to my never fail method - THE STORY.
I am a story teller through and through. And when I start with "Once upon a time there was a little boy named Toby..." little ears start to listen and I tell it as if though their is no crying, using a soft voice. I tell stories that are just for the listener. So, tonight was a story that started with Toby drawing a space shuttle - a space shuttle with weapons that suddenly detached from the paper and started growing and growing. Toby's only hope was to draw a second space shuttle with shields, etc. I took my time and talked slowly. By the end, the tears had stopped - hooray!
I have told stories to tired children on the subway, on long walks when they don't think they can walk any further, and right in the middle of stores to distract them. Its worked on every child I have met. It doesn't matter - as long as I tell a story about something important to the listener. So, for my two year old its garbage trucks. And to a crowd - I jump from dinosaur to princess to trains made out of candy.
And, if you are thinking you aren't a story teller - just start trying it. It will be hard to come up with crazy tales the first few times. But, you'll get better at it. Who knew - you needed practice to make up fantastical stories.
Anyhow, I thought I would share a my own moment!
Painting: The Boyhood of Raleigh by John Everett Millais