Friday, January 21, 2011

Bedtime story

Some time ago Valerie got tired of my entire repertoire of lullabies, so I tried a story: The Three Bears seemed pretty innocuous. No antiquated princess stuff or macabre details - although I did discover some inadvertent gender socialization. She LOVES it, and the telling of the story has evolved into an intricate ritual, wherein a single misstep evokes an insistent "No no!"

As soon as we announce that it's bedtime, she runs to her room saying "Mama sing three bears, Daddy sing three bears!"

Here is Mama's version (Daddy's is a kinder gentler version with no sadness or scariness involved), with Val's interjections:

M: Once upon a time there were three bears. They lived in a little house in the forest.
V: Three bears house forest!
M: One day they decided to go for a walk
V: Mama Bear push stroller! Push Baby Bear stroller!
M: While they were out, a little girl came to their house.
V: No home, inside anyway
M: Nobody was home, but she went inside anyway.
V: Saw three chairs
M: She saw three chairs: a big one, a medium, and a small one. She sat down in the big chair and said "This chair is too tall!" She sat down in the medium chair and said "this chair is too short!" She sat down in the little baby chair" -
V: Val-Val's green chair!
M: A little green chair just like Val-Val's, and she sat down so hard she broke it!
V: Dada Bear fix chair!
M: Yes, Daddy bear will fix the chair.

(aside: I noticed after 1 or 2 tellings that I'd inadvertently introduced all kinds of gender constructs that I'm not sure I approve of. See if you can spot them.)

M: Then she went into the kitchen and saw three bowls of cereal.

(aside: she doesn't know what porridge is but eats cereal on a regular basis.)

V: Eat food!
M: She took a bite from the big bowl and said "this cereal is too hot!" She took a bite from the medium bowl and said "this cereal is too cold!" She took a bite from the little baby bowl and said "this cereal is just right!" It tasted so good, she ate it all up!
V: Baby's cereal gone! Baby Bear sad! Baby bear do?
M: What's Baby Bear going to do?
V: Mama Bear do?
M: What's Mama Bear going to do?
V: Dada Bear do?
M: What's Daddy Bear going to do?
V: Eat food! Mama Bear share Baby Bear!
M: Then the little girl went upstairs. She saw three beds.
V: Val-Val's bed!
M: Yes, this is Val-Val's bed. She lay down in the big bed and said "this bed is too hard!" She lay down in the medium bed and said "This bed is too soft!" She lay down on the baby bed and said "this bed is just right!" And it felt so comfy, she fell asleep!
[Valerie lies face down in her "nap" pose]
V: Then!
M: Just then, the three bears came home!
V: Walk into room [I think this phrase is from Daddy's version]
M: Daddy Bear said "someone's been sitting in my chair." Mama Bear said "Someone's been sitting in my chair. Baby bear said "someone's been sitting in my chair, and broke it!"

[I'll skip the next bit since it reiterates the previous parallel section, almost word for word]

Oh - except that every time Daddy Bear says "My," Valerie says "My" in a loud swooping tone, I don't know how to describe it. Then she whispers "Shhh, Val-Val, no scream!" It's hilarious.

M:... Baby Bear said "someone's been sleeping in my bed, and there she is!"
V: Woke up!
M: The little girl woke up! She saw the three bears looking at her. Then she jumped out the window and ran away. The end.

[Daddy's version has them having a nice visit because they were friends.]

V: Sing Three Bears again, one more time!

1 comment:

Susie said...

Love all the toddler words. And the Hop Hop book is a fantastic idea!