I told a story this morning to help get things moving. No weird moods today, just attempting to help them focus. I visited the Cinderella story again. It is a popular one for my daughter, and for my sons, I merely have to add weapons or go silly. This morning I went for silly.
Sometimes it helps to be an antagonist. Mornings can have a little bit of stress to them. You got to get ready for the day doing stuff you may not want to do. So I often target times like that and try to hit them up with something fun, especially for my wife and kids. I grabbed a familiar storyline with characters my kids enjoy and played with it.
When picking from a story your kids like, it’s not enough to just grab the characters or even the plot. This is something I failed to mention earlier but to me, it’s where you begin that can really grab their attention. In most stories there is a unique moment, usually, it’s some kind of plot twist, that’s where I like to begin. You are vicariously tapping into the moment the original story spent its entire time cultivating. Back in my school days playing basketball, we called this “cherry picking”. And as you cherry pick your kids’ favorite story, you immediately tap into the power that is there. Plot twists are also a good place to go your own way because all you need to do to fix whatever mess you’ve made is to return to where the original story took it. For example, this morning’s story:
I began in the garden when Cinderella was crying. The Fairy god Mother, or FgM from now on, was having difficulty with her wand, (slight change). It had some kind of short in it. Sparks were shooting everywhere, and the FgM found that due to the sparks, her aim was a bit off. She accidentally BBB’d a frog who was just about to eat a fly, (beginning diversion). The frog turned into a dashing young man who, out of frustration, immediately began to berate the FgM. Turns out, he had a girlfriend frog who was sitting right next to him and they were on a date before he was turned into a man. The fly, on the other hand, was doing a jig because even though the frog-turned-man was still trying to eat it, he didn’t have the frog tongue to get it with. Oh things got pretty complicated after that, what with the frog-turned-man shouting, Cinderella crying because she didn’t have her gown yet, (hint toward original story and where to return to), the fly dancing around in joy, the wand sparking, and the frog-man’s girlfriend croaking, the FgM finally called a halt to everyone, (fully out from the original as far as I was going to go this morning). She pulled out an alternate wand with new batteries and BBB’d the whole group shouting, “Bippity Boppity Booyah!”. (Basically bringing it all back, and cleaning it up by restoring everyone to “normal” and giving Cinderella her gown.)
That, along with the lightsaber version mentioned earlier, are examples of “cherry picking” from the Cinderella story. In that amount of time, my kids had eaten their breakfast, brushed their teeth, put on their coats, gloves, and backpacks and were ready to go.
Mornings don’t have to be painful. They can be a time of fun that the whole family can look forward to. Would you like some ice cream with those cherries?