Soap opera lullaby

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

I claim to be a slacker mom most of the time (and I am; there’s not a single puzzle box in our house that has all of its pieces). But one area where I’ve got this mommy thing down pat is bedtime. It started out when they were little and needed to be wrapped up like a giant pastel burrito in swaddling blankets to sleep soundly. That gave way to rocking chair sessions with “Good Night Moon.” My oldest is nine, and has been a captive audience to my “Turtle Cove Elementary” soap opera for about four years–ever since he said he’d had enough of that old lady whispering hush and was ready for some real drama.

Kind of like “Beverly Hills, 90210” for the pre-pre-pubescent set, in this fictional school, there are best friends and best-best friends. There are also a few bullies, who all end up meeting embarrassing fates, like sitting down on the teacher’s  lunch or being stung by a bee where the sun doesn’t shine. Occasionally the main character will get into trouble for some minor misdeed that’s remarkably similar to one of my son’s infractions. It’s gotten a little obvious; Jacob will tell me, “Let me guess, tonight Mason will have gotten on ‘red’ at school for not listening at lunch, too.” (Mason is one of the story’s heroes.)

When I tell my friends that I am expected to generate fresh kiddie soap opera material on a nightly basis, they respond as if I just told them I had created custom tiles out of crushed recycled baby food jar glass to decorate the kids’ bathroom or hand-painted their birthday invitations. (An overachiever–me??) But my Turtle Cove Elementary school episodes are by far the sweetest moments of my days, even when I’m sooo tired I just can’t think of a new way to thicken the plot. I dread the day when Jacob tells me he’s tired and wants to go to sleep.

But given how he reacts when it’s a really late night (happens a lot when there’s an evening baseball practice) and I say there’s no time for a story, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.