When I’m putting my son to sleep, sometimes he asks to hear “The Doughnut Story,” a tale I made up once on the spot for lack of remembering any non-predatory classic bedtime stories from my childhood. I mean, The Three Little Pigs? Little Red Riding Hood? Goldilocks and the Three Bears? What is this, a right-wing conspiracy to make kids think that someone, somewhere is always out to get them? So as my son was fighting sleep one night he started talking about doughnuts. We have this tradition of going to get doughnuts every Wednesday while his older sister is at dance class, so it makes sense. What can I say, there is a fine line between bribery and fun childhood traditions. It made me suddenly remember a parenting article I read years ago about “fun ways to engage your kids creatively” or some other hippie sounding thing, where they recommended making up a story starring your child as the hero, and using a non-scary villain for them to fight. I think the illustration was even a big doughnut! So in a soothing voice I said:
Speaking of doughnuts, do you want to hear The Doughnut Story? Once upon a time, there was a superhero named Oscar Man. Early one morning the baker at the bakery called him and said, “Oscar Man! We need your help! I put too much dough in the doughnuts and now they are so big they’re rolling down the street and hurting people! They’re running over cars! They’re making people fall down on their way to work! Please, please help us!” So Oscar Man put on his big, awesome cape and called his friend Super Sage to help him. Together they swooped down over Graham Avenue (this is where we have our weekly doughnut date) wearing their big, awesome capes and caught all of the rolling doughnuts in their super, strong arms with their big strong muscles! Then they threw them like frisbees all the way into the East River and all the fish and the sharks said, “Thank you Oscar Man and Super Sage! We love doughnuts! Yummy in our fish tummies!”
The first time I told this story, my son was so excited about it that he told his big sister the next day. Then she asked me to draw it. Then she drew her own version of it, then the next day she drew a slightly different version of it. As you can see, it’s become an ongoing art series at our house.