Our Honda Odyssey has been packed to the brim this week with three car seats and four adults at a time. I seem to always have the misfortune of being seated next to Frankie, who is incapable of being in the car for more than fourteen seconds without demanding to be told a "pretend story." I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes I think it would be easier to gnaw off my own forearm than come up with another pretend story. You've never known creative paralysis until your two-year-old requests her ninth pretend story of the hour. I search my brain for any story I've ever read that I can pawn off as my own. I've even resorted to Greek mythology, but I changed Icharus's name to Charlie so she wouldn't suspect. One of my favorite tactics in the car is to assure Frankie that I would be absolutely delighted to tell a pretend story, but I think Daddy/Aunt Molly/Uncle Matt is really dying to do it. I've even tried to get Sylvie to tell her one.
Dean was really proud of a particular story he made up the other day that involved a girl with wheels instead of legs whose family moved into a new house where her bedroom was, unluckily, on the second floor. I though it was sadistic, but he thought it taught the value of perseverance since the girl had to practice on bigger and bumpier hills until she was able to wheel her poor paralyzed self up the stairs to her new room.
Molly's stories seem to always have endings involving defecation, so I've quit asking her. Matt did finally step up to the plate the other day when we headed to Aunt Jan's pool. He hooked Frankie in by telling her his story was going to be about a dog named Timmy. Unfortunately, he lost his audience when he began a great deal of background character development and scene setting (e.g. "Now keep in mind that Timmy didn't live in a regular home, he lived in something called a townhome."). I think we can safely call his story a flop since five minutes into his pre-story outline Frankie piped up "You are talking to me, Uncle Matt?"