Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Once Upon a Mommy's Brain

“Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a gigantic castle atop an enormous mountain….”

No, no. Too typical.

“Once upon a time there was a purple monster with 700 pointy teeth and 14 eyes -2 blue eyes,4 brown eyes, 7 green eyes and one gigantic yellow eye that glowed in the dark….”

No, no. Too scary.

“Once upon a time there was a green ogre who lived in a swamp with a talking donkey…”

No, no. Too already done.

I used to be so creative. I used to have all my mojo flowing and I could whip up a story that would make you laugh and cry and be on the edge of your seat until the “The End.” I used to think about majoring in Creative Writing in college but there was that nasty poetry requirement that got in the way. I used to have this free mind that could pull all this crazy random stuff together and make it into magic.

But then I had a child and now I can’t come up with even one good night night story for the poor girl.

She is soooooo creative. She is amazing. She has started playing these pretend games with all of her various stuffed animals and dollies. She goes on rescue missions down the stairs with her flying dragon Beanie Baby. She has a Mommy Panda and a Baby Panda that snuggle in close together. She handed me and her Daddy dish towels to use as capes and made us all put on our sunglasses so we could be super heroes and run around the house. She makes up songs, she tells these fantastic stories. She is me, approximately 30 months and 15 days ago.

One of the times I was privileged enough to be apart of her magical mystery pretend world I had to be responsible for the Baby Frog. Mommy Frog and Daddy Frog were very concerned that the Baby Frog would not wear a coat. It was my job to put the coat onto Baby Frog so he wouldn’t get sick. I sat there paralyzed. How am I going to find a coat in the house small enough to fit this teeny tiny frog? I thought about fashioning a robe of sorts using a washcloth. Or maybe if I cut one of the toes off my toe snuggle socks….but then I remembered this was an imagination game. An imaginary coat would work just fine.

I blame the realness of the child. The concerns of her and maintaining her wonderfulness weighing down on my brain. I want to think of fun summer games to play outside, but I’m preoccupied thinking if I should go spray or cream sunblock (or the ever exciting spray cream-wooo) to ward off the sun’s harmful rays. I want to dance outside in the puddles, but then I worry about her catching a cold. I want tell her a great story at bed but I am so busy worrying if I am making it funny enough, clever enough, adding enough educational elements that I get lost in my own brain.

You’d think as I got more parental I would get more creative. She would be so inspirational to me…or something. I didn’t expect to start making up my own music and lyrics or speaking in a British accent but hey something grand should happen. Well, I am a Mommy-that’s cool. I am fun to hang out with. I have learned how to make her laugh so fantastically that it makes random people on the street laugh. I am not UNcreative – I still have a little of those creative juices in me, I still think about things in different fun ways. And most importantly I am still able to come up with great voices to use for the characters in those stories that are prewritten for my convenience.

1 comment:

Maya said...

I've actually been having the same problem. But since I work in the field that gives one "that nasty poetry requirement" (I teach poetry), I've not thought about it in relationship to children's stories. I keep thinking that my daughter acts like a filter between me and the world--she mediates everything about my interaction with it--and it's great, but it kills my creativity. I wish I knew how long that filter lasts...