Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Once Upon A Time

A few months ago I started making up stories for Ben about a little boy that was very similar to him. A mom at work gave me the idea, and since she has four older children of her own, I thought she might know what she was talking about. She told me that she found making up stories a good way to help her children through tough moments and that they found comfort in her stories as they unraveled.



Our made up story is about a little boy named Sam who lives in an apartment with his mummy, daddy and his cat named Whiskers. Sam goes on different adventures in the city and often goes to his friend Brooke's yellow house. Ben requests these stories a lot and when he is tired or not feeling well, he asks for them even more. So far I've found that when something is 'off' with my little guy, doing one of our make believe stories really helps him out. If he is having bad dreams, then Sam also has a bad dream but he ends up being okay.

He hasn't yet figured out that 'Sam' is really Ben and this is what I love about childhood. I love laying on the bed with him and telling him a story and watching him make up pictures in his head. In fact, when I was a little girl my own dad made up stories to tell me at bedtime. Mine were adventure tales about a little girl and her best friend who were lived on an island.

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Sam who lived in an apartment with his mummy, daddy and his cat named Whiskers (Ben fills in the cats name each time). Today is an exciting day, and mummy is taking Sam on an adventure. They are going to go and visit their friend Brooke. Into the car they went, through the city (beep! beep!), over the bridge and to her yellow house.


Most of the time the story is about eating pancakes with Sam's friend, or going to the farm to feed birds. Once in awhile it's also about Sam being scared about something, or going to sleep in his room by himself. This tip from another mother was magic, and I love that she shared it with me.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

This post just warmed my heart! It took me right back to my childhood and made me look forward to the day when Ember is old enough for such a bedtime ritual. The budding imagination is simply a delight to witness and nourish.

March 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM  
Lisa said...

Such a great idea to use the stories to work through scary things and so on.

I do that too. My daughter loves it. I model my story after the Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Not sure why. But the first time I told her a story, that was the story I could think of and now she always asks for that one.
My son's stories are always different variations of a boy who loves to play.

March 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous said...

Andrea! I totally thought that the bold example story was going to turn out something like... "one day, Sam found out he was going to be a big brother...." You know, to really test your readers ;) But then I remembered that you are far too savvy for an announcement such as that. And no, I have no inside information at all on Andrea's reproductive status!!! I hope you are well, Andrea and I love all your messages. Erin xox

March 12, 2011 at 1:03 AM  

So cute! I tell Avelyn a story about a little girl named "Ovalyn" who eats 100 cookies at the bakery and gets a sore tummy. She LOVES it! :)

March 13, 2011 at 8:34 PM  
jessieeden said...

Your post is pretty illuminating and practical,I completely agree with the above comment. Thanks for the sharing.

March 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Kristin said...

I love this! I can recall my dad always making up stories about a little girl named Belittle Benign the Pooper Scooper.....ha! WTH? Anyway, she would walk around the neighbourhood scooping up the doggy poop on the lawns of our neighbours and taking it away in her red wagon all the while socializing with her friends while at it. I think Belittle Benign was my my sister. I have no idea where he came up with the idea. I should ask him about that. Kinda strange now that I am thinking about it.
Just the other night Kamille had asked me to tell her "a story from my head" So cute! I am inspired!
Great post!

March 27, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Kristen said...

We do a similar thing except that the kids in the stories are named Elijah, Jeremy and Olivia - they just do crazier stuff than real life

March 30, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Kristin said...

I love this! I can recall my dad always making up stories about a little girl named Belittle Benign the Pooper Scooper.....ha! WTH? Anyway, she would walk around the neighbourhood scooping up the doggy poop on the lawns of our neighbours and taking it away in her red wagon all the while socializing with her friends while at it. I think Belittle Benign was my my sister. I have no idea where he came up with the idea. I should ask him about that. Kinda strange now that I am thinking about it.
Just the other night Kamille had asked me to tell her "a story from my head" So cute! I am inspired!
Great post!

April 8, 2011 at 9:51 PM  

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