Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bedtime beatbox

Lately bedtime has gotten a lot more fun because of the beatbox.

Each night I read a story to Natalie, or she reads it to Tony and me. And then Tony tells a story.

This is how it went when I was growing up, except for the beatbox part. I’d say to my dad: Tell me a story and read me a story! And he'd always oblige. His stories were often about Spot, a bluegill, and Spike, a perch. And each story began the same way:

“This is a story about Spot and Spike. One day, the two friends were swimming in the lake.”

If I complained about the familiar beginning, he started over - the same way, of course.

Spike was the leader; Spot, the follower. That’s because bluegills have narrow heads and therefore can’t be very smart. They had all sorts of lake adventures, such as running into the leeches, who like carnies operated a ferris wheel and didn't have the best reputations.

Anyway, Tony’s stories typically involve a girl and her mother, a girl and her friends, or a girl and a princess. Often they end with a dance party, something Natalie learned about during kindergarten when the children would dress up and dance to the soundtrack of Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

When Natalie senses the story is going to end with a dance party, she sits up in bed.

“And all the girls wore pretty dresses and there was popcorn and juice … and …” His hands go up to his mouth and Natalie shrieks and the dog barks and Tony’s forehead gets red as he busts out some very special beatboxing.

It’s become the best part of the night. And a great way to motivate Natalie: “Do you want dance party? Then brush your teeth.”

Tonight on the way home from school I asked Natalie whether she wanted Tony to tell a story.

"Yeah!" she said. "Dance party! A LOT of dance party."

Peace out.


  1. Clearly we need video to accompany this story. Yes. I demand a visual of Tony beatboxing! :-)

  2. I had forgotten the part of the story about the Ferris wheel! Tony's story has similar technique. Amazing what interests little girls!