I'm not home every evening when the boys go to bed, but when I am, we have a little bit of a routine. After jammies and brushing teeth, Mommy steps out for a few minutes while I read a story to the boys. As soon as the story ends, we take just a couple minutes to have "Talk about one naughty or good thing" before Debbi comes back to sing their nighttime song.
This has been going for about a year now. It started really simple, like, I would ask them to say one thing that would be naughty, or one thing that would be good. An example early on may be, "If we don't push our brother, that would be a good thing!" Or, "If we dump out all the Legos, that would be naughty!"
Over the last 12 months, the stories they come up with for this time have become more and more complex. Usually they start with, "Talk about, if mommy says...." and then some story about mommy telling Ben and Joe (and often Titus and Joshua) that they need to go somewhere, and do something, and usually someone disobeys (the "naughty" part) or, occasionally, everyone obeys (a "good" thing). Then my job is to try my best to figure out what they just said and repeat it. Often, it's kind of convoluted and hard to understand. Then they say, "now YOU make one up, Daddy!" -- Mine are usually of the more simple variety.
So with that background, here is what came up tonight. It was Joe's turn to go first. This is my best effort transcription of what was said:
"Talk about if mommy said, "we need to go pick walkerdales." A walkerdale is a type of food that grows on trees. So mommy says, "we have to go in the big pit. And in the big pit is a tube that leads to The Famous Garden of Trees." When we get to The Famous Garden of Trees, we have to look for the Walkerdale tree - there is only one. And then Ben and me and Mommy go pick the Walkerdales off it. Then we put them in a bowl, and take them home and mash them up and eat them. That would be good, because everyone obeyed."
"Talk about if mommy said, "we all have to go to the big pit. And in the pit there are three tubes. And we're supposed to go in the second tube, which goes to a good place." And Ben and Joe obey, but Titus goes to the THIRD tube, and jumps in - that would be NAUGHTY. This is before Joshua was born. Talk about that, Daddy."
Joe: (follow-up question) "Is that tube the one that has fire?"
Ben - "Yep, it is."
By far the most elaborate "Talk about one naughty or good thing" yet.