The Bedtime Adventures of Super Sunny: The Great Penguin Rescue (or ‘Snot Funny, Janie)

 Sunny has had a tough couple weeks—she had a double ear infection and has had a bad case of the ick the last four days. 

The bedtime before last, she was stuffed-up,  cranky, overnapped, and just a tad hyped on Children’s Tylenol.   We had books, back rubs, a song, and two drinks of water—but she wasn’t interested in sleeping or staying in bed.

So I brought out the big guns.


 “Super Sunny is a superhero who is . . . ”

(Snerk, sniff, cough)  “Five years old.”*

“And has . . . ”

“Curly pigtail hair.  Like me.”

“Right.  One day, Super Sunny was in bed with a terrible cold.”

“And a feber.”

“And a fever.  But her ears weren’t infected so she still heard someone say . . . ”

“Help (cough) help!”

“So she slooowly got out of bed and put on her bunny slippers and her robe—“

“An’ a tissue.”

“And lots of tissues. And flew slooowly around trying to find the one who was calling for help because she was really tired.”

(Yawn) “And she found a penguin.  Like on her robe.”

“Just like on her robe.  It was a small penguin and the piece of ice it had been standing on had broken off and carried it away from its family.  And it couldn’t swim back because there were walruses in the water who might eat him—”

(from the other side of the room) “Not walruses, Mom.  Seals.”

“Are you sure, Jane?”

“Is this the Antarctic?”

“Uh.  I guess so.”

“Then it’s seals.  And sea lions.”

“Okay.  There were seals in the water—”

“And sea lions.”


“Janie, this is my story!”

“Jeez, sorry. I was just trying to help.

“But it’s my story—“

“So anyway, it wasn’t safe for the little penguin to swim home.  But Super Sunny couldn’t pick up the penguin to fly it back, because she was sick and didn’t have any super strength left—and penguins are heavy and slippery and really cold on the outside.  She thought about flying to find a tree to make a paddle or something, except she was sooo tired . . .  when suddenly her nose tickled.”


“And she said, Ah, Aaaah, Aaaaaaaaah, AAAAAAAAHHHHH . . . ow.  No sneeze.”


“She turned to look out at the ocean and thought about sticking her feet in the water and kicking, like you learned to in swim class, except the water was freezing and


(Story paused for much giggling and unwarranted accusations of scaring small children on purpose, Mommy—and a coughing fit)

“And Super Sunny’s super sneeze blew that piece of ice across the water so fast that the little penguin freaked out and flapped its flippers and screamed, Aaaaaaaauuugggghhhh!!!

(Story paused so two children could pretend to be freaked-out penguins and laugh
—and one could have a coughing fit)

“And the ice hit the land so hard that the penguin and Super Sunny flew through the air and knocked over all four hundred penguins who were waiting there, just like bowling pins. And every single penguin looked up at the sky and said, Bless you.”

(Very long pause for howls of laughter, reenactments, and to work out exactly what four hundred penguin voices would sound like if they said Gesundheit instead)

“And the Emperor Penguin gave Super Sunny a handkerchief to blow her nose—”

“‘Cause she had lots of snot.”

” . . .Okay, yeah, but yuck.  And she flew home very slooowly and took off her slippers and her robe and got into bed—“

“She went potty first.”

“Good idea.  Do you have to?”




“All right.  And Super Sunny snuggled into bed just as her Mommy came in to check on her.  Where did you get that handkerchief with the capital P in the corner?  And why are you hands so cold? she asked.  But Super Sunny was already asleep.  And you should be, too.  Good night.”

“I’ll bet when she woked up in the morning, her bed was full of snot.”

“This isn’t a snot story, sweetie.  It’s a Super Sunny bedtime story.  Go to sleep now.”

(from across the room) “Super Snotball story.”

“Jane-eee.  Super Sunny isn’t a snotball! She’s a superhero girl.(Sniff, cough, snerk)


“Good night, both of you.”

“Night, Mommy.”

“Night, Mom.”


Yes, sweetie?”

“I do hafta go potty.”


Image of Super Sunny doodled by me during a meeting a few weeks ago**  on an old pocket card:

And, no, those weren’t meant to be bunny slippers, but I’ll concede the point.

The rest of the images courtesy of Microsoft.


*Or, actually, “Fibe years ode.”  Please for to imagine the rest of Sunny’s end of the conversation as if it was spoken without any help from a massively congested, tiny, neon-pink nose.  Because it was.

**While at the same time listening very carefully, I swear, to why it’s imperative that we put pink indicator dots on the lower right side of the flyleaf labels while RFID tagging, with the following exceptions. . .


4 thoughts on “The Bedtime Adventures of Super Sunny: The Great Penguin Rescue (or ‘Snot Funny, Janie)

  1. Just read your story. I laughed, cried and reminisced about the stories your father used to tell. I am so glad you’re carrying on the tradition. Great job.

    • Thanks, Mom—that means a lot.

      I’m still trying to get Dad’s “The Three Little Pigs and the Gold Digger Wolf” right . . . Do you think he’d do a podcast with me? No one does a Mae West impression like Dad.

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