Okay, so my 2 1/2 year old adores stories. I have books and music for him at bedtime, but lately he wants to hear me tell stories rather than read them. We've covered all of the exciting details of his birth, strange and funny family anecdotes, etc. The other night I was so tired I had no inspiration for a creative bedtime story.
However, I had just watched A History of Violence (edited, but sheesh! Mega violent). So, I retold him the story in a toddler friendly bedtime story way. I've included it below. It made me think how cool it would be to have a series of books (I know, copyrights and permissions would make it virtually impossible to get permission) based on Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, etc. Just simplified and cleaned up, but still enough for the parent to enjoy.
Without further ado, here is the cleaned up, sanitized version of A History of Violence; may the actual writer forgive me. Spoilers alert!
Once upon a time, out in a small town, there lived a nice man named Tom. Tom had a nice family. He had a diner that people liked to eat at. He made good coffee and everyone loved the pie.
One day some bad men came in to the diner. They wanted to steal the money. Tom said no and told them to go away. They were very bad and he had to put them in time out. Everyone in town was happy because the bad men went away.
But on another day more bad men came to town. They came into the diner and said “Hi Joey” to Tom.
“My name is Tom”, he said.
“No, you are Joey” they said.
“I’m sorry but my name is Tom”.
“Oh no, silly! We know you are Joey!”
Tom was very mad at the bad men, for coming to his nice town and calling him the wrong name.
One day the bad men came to his house to talk to him, and they told him to get in their car. Tom knew that you are never supposed to get into a stranger’s car so he said “No!”. The bad men didn’t like that and everybody ended up with a boo boo and these bad guys had to go to time out too. Tom got an owwie.
Then Tom told his wife that his real name was Joey. She got mad. He told her he used to be a bad guy but now he’s a good man but she was still mad.
He went to go visit his big brother Richie, who was still a bad man who lived far away. His brother was not nice to him at all, and bossed him around. They played hide and seek for awhile until Richie had to lie down and Tom went home. The bad men were all gone.
His family was happy he was home and he was back to being Tom.