No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!

No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!

A coblogger I like to read, Word Lilly did a post today on the re release of a favorite children’s book series.  I started to comment and then had to cut it short as I realized that I had enough material for a post.

Once upon a time, perhaps a millennia ago there were a set of stories for children called Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime stories.  I suppose my Mom started reading them to me but by the age of four or five I  would read them to myself.

Now why I did this, and did it repeatedly I have no idea.  I think Uncle Arthur must have been a very nasty man who hated children.  A lot.  His stories scared the life out of me -for years.  There was always a moral but even as a child I questioned the why of it.  And those were the stories I repeatedly pulled down to read again and again.

One was about a little boy who had been struck by a car and lay in a hospital bed ward all bandaged up.  He was in a lot of pain.  Another youngster in a bed near by could see his suffering.  So he told our critically ill patient that every night Jesus would walk through the ward and take children away who were ill.  All they had to do was hold up their hand.  

So our wee lad tried and tried to raise his hand that night but weakness and pain made it impossible.  His little friend crawled out of bed and bracing the arm with pillows was able to raise the hand.  

Well of course the happy ending was that Jesus did come and take him away from his pain and suffering.  But the residual effect was that every time I sleep on my side and raise my arm that picture comes to mind and I snap that hand back down quickly.  Then my mind reviews the whole story again.  As the song by Joe Diffie goes..”I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to go tonight ” Especially if it was because of an accidental hand placement!  Oh yeah, then I have to sign the song.  I swear Uncle Arthur has been the source of insomnia now and then.

The second awful story was one about a poor family.  A Mom and two children.  Food is a problem and Mama provides the best she can, always making sure her off spring eat first.  So Mama gets weaker and sicker.  A doctor comes and tears a strip off those wee bairns telling them how selfish and horrible they are for eating the food.  And he says that if Mama dies it is all their own fault!  

Well the outcome of that was the children started making sure she ate, and miracles of miracles she got better.  Well good for them!  Me?  I was locked in the nightmare for weeks, watching everything my mother ate and if she offered me something extra I declined.

No way was I going to kill my Mom!  (Which I guess is kind of funny because in my blog about Perception is a Funny Thing at the end of her life she actually did believe just that!)

20 thoughts on “No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!”

  1. Just found this now… I can see the whole discussion is about a year old. Anyway, I just wanted to agree with you about how awful those stories were. We had them here in Australia. They floated around our house when I was a child in the 1970s and I, too, read them in a state of fear and horror. I’m still haunted by a story about a sister who waited Too Late to apologise to a sibling. The sister died before she had a chance to say sorry! The nurse, pictured standing at the door of the hospital ward, was saying she was Too Late! I fought with my sister all the time. The story didn’t stop me; it just made me feel bad about myself. Ugh. Shudder.

  2. I have a 7-month old baby and we’re only starting to read him bedtime stories. I don’t think he understands anything yet and just appreciates the melody of my voice, I will definitely keep this post in mind. I understand how you must be traumatized by those stories! It’s funny though 🙂

  3. This stuff is hysterical. LOL!!!! Good grief what the heck were you reading. Uncle Arthur must have been a sociopath or worse… Oops! Sorry descendants. 🙂
    I must ya, I enjoyed your post and laughed all through it. Now I’ll probably have nightmares about raising my hand… Sheesh! 🙂
    Finally catching up after taking time out to handle offline stuff. 🙂

  4. Great write, Chris. I grew up being terrified by Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Grim, they were indeed. That and the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz. I still do not understand why adults tells these scary stories to kids. My grandchildren loved me to tell them scary stories, especially at bedtime. I have to admit that I gave in to their pleas to make up stories about their scary adventures. Guess we just love to be a little scared at times, like at Halloween. Go figure. Thanks for sharing this. It brought back some fun memories. Hugs, pat

  5. as a lad I wiped out on my bike and clunked my head good and hard on the pavement. Head concussion.

    Mom rushed home from work and rushed me to the local hospital. No rooms at the Inn so they sen us to the local Catholic run hospital.

    Picture this:

    Frightened little Jewish kid in a BIG catholic hospital awakening to find three nuns looming over my bed in prayer.

    SO GLAD I didn’t raise my hand…….

  6. So I’m thinking you don’t read Uncle Arthur to G1 and G2?

    And now I have a song in my head for the night! 🙂

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