Dem Bones: A bedtime story

Setting:  Sunny’s bedroom, yesterday evening


“Mommy, tell me a bedtime story.”

“I’ll tell you a story if you sing me a song.”

“Tell me a story first.”

(Not born yesterday) “No, you sing to me first.”



“Okay . . . ” (much giggling)

“Well?  Are you going to giggle or sing?”

“I’m laughing at my elbow.”

“Is your elbow funny?”

“Yes.  It’s a bone.

“Bones are funny? Elbows aren’t funny bones—your funny bone is right here.

(much shrieking) “No, no!  Don’t tickle me!  Mommy, stop.  Bones are skeletons.”

“Skeletons are made up of bones, yes.”

“They’re inside our bodies.

“That’s exactly right.”

“Bones are funny.

“Yes, they are.  Are you going to sing?”

“Mumble, mumble.”

“What did you say?”

“I was talking to my elbow.”

“Well, if you and your elbow want to have a conversation instead of sing, I’m going to kiss you goodnight and go get some work done.”

“Mom-mee!  Elbows don’t sing.

“Do you?”

“Oh, all right.  But you have to help me.”

“If I have to.”

“Yes, you do.”

“What should we sing?”


Tony-worthy performance of “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night ensues, with lyrical reinterpretations and much use of jazz hands.

“Now tell me a story.”

“About what?”

“The kangaroo without any friends.”

“I don’t know that one.”

“You can make it up.”

“Okay. Um . . . Once upon a time, a kangaroo went to the park to play.  She saw kids playing with kites and asked them if she could play, too.  Do you have a kite? they asked.  She didn’t, so they said she couldn’t play with them.  Then she saw some kids playing frisbee.  She asked them if she could play, too.  Do you have a frisbee? they asked.  She didn’t, so they said she couldn’t play with them, either.”

“That’s mean.”

“Then she saw some kids near the pond, sending toy boats around the little island in the middle.  She asked them if she could play, too.  Do you have a boat? they asked.  She didn’t, so they said she couldn’t play with them, either.  She was sad, but the park was pretty, so she took a walk and looked at the flowers.”

“Awww.  That’s sad.”

“I know.  But she heard someone yelling up ahead, and saw a kite stuck in a tree where the kids couldn’t reach it.  She hopped up high and rescued the kite.”

“And fell down and broke her bones.”

“Nooo, she gave it back to the kids and kept walking.  She heard someone else yelling, and saw that a frisbee was stuck on top of the restroom building.”

“Like where I peed yesterday at the picnic.”

“Yes.  So the kanga—“

“And pooped.”

“Yes, dear, and pooped.  Can I go on?”


“So the kangaroo hopped up high and rescued the frisbee.  She tossed it to the kids and kept walking.  She heard yelling by the pond, and saw that a toy boat was stuck on the little island.  She did a huge hop and landed on the island, pushed the boat into the water, and hopped back.  Then she started to walk away, but the boat kids said, Play with us!  And then the kite kids said, No, play with US! And the frisbee kids said . . .

“Play with US!”

“Right, so the kangaroo said, We will all play together.  And they all played with the boats and frisbees and kites and no one broke any bones at all, even elbows. Good night, sweetie.”

“Kiss my elbow, too.”

“Kiss your elbow?  Do I look like the kind of person who kisses other people’s elbows?


“Oh, for heaven’s . . . there.  Good night.”

“Night, Mommy.” (giggle, giggle)  “You kissed my skeleton.

“Yes.  Yes I did.  Good night, Sunny-girl.  Good night, elbow.”

“Mom-mee!  Elbows don’t talk back!

That’s a relief.”

13 thoughts on “Dem Bones: A bedtime story

  1. So much better than Rainbow Fish. I really think kid lit is your genre. Won’t you please consider it?

  2. And this, my friend, is why I always tell you that dialogue is your biggest strength. One of many.

    Please oh please, write a children’s book. I have children. I want to buy it.

  3. If not a kids book than how about a book for the parents who really don’t want to read the same children’s book one more time

  4. I typically come around here to get a little brain-breather going, but it’s posts like this that really make me relax. I forgot what I was supposed to be doing, besides not surfing the web, and was for a moment, totally riveted–wondering what could Sunny say next? And what could her just-as-adorable mother say in reply?

    It was a happy ending, for sure. 🙂 Thanks for that!

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