We had a cat named Theo. Each night he would jump into bed, plop against Daphne, and purr her to sleep. When Charlotte was born, Theo made room for our baby at nap time.
Theo passed away almost exactly two years ago, and you might suspect that Charlotte has forgotten him: she was only two and a half when he died. But that isn't the case. Theo has become one of Char's favorite story characters.
The Theo stories started last fall when his name came up during a car ride. Charlotte wanted to know more about him, and Daphne told a true story about that "crazy cat". Since then, Charlotte constantly asks for a "crazy Theo story" when we are in the car. Although he was a cool pet, there are only so many anecdotes that you recall about a cat, so now we have to make them up. Theo makes dinner, goes to school, and drives a car.
When Daphne makes up a story about Theo it ends with a moral that Charlotte can learn. When I tell a story about it ends with a body function. For instance, Daphne told a story about sharing and making sure everyone takes their turn. When she finished she smiled at me - proud of the lesson she provided. I could tell that Charlotte wasn't quite happy with that conclusion, so I added one more line:
"And then Theo went to his room, closed the door, and ripped a huge fart!"
Charlotte squealed with laughter, and Daphne turned and punched me squarely in the shoulder, "You just hijacked my story!"
"No I didn't!" I laughed, "I just made it a tiny bit better..."
"You did not make it better! I was using this opportunity to make a point about being nice to others, and you ruined it."
"Oh c'mon! Despite my superior ending, I'm sure she learned your lesson."
From the back seat Charlotte chimed in, "And then he ripped a huuuuuge fart!"
Daphne shot me a look, "Oh yeah, she learned something, all right."
The moral of this story for me:
Comedy is all about timing. Save the fart jokes for Daddy-Daughter nights.