Catherine had a great day at the pool one day so I invented a story where she turned into a mermaid. I couldn’t help but remember the 80’s movie Splash!
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Catherine. She lived in Georgia with her mommy, her daddy, and her little brother, Charlie. She loved to swim. One day while she was swimming at the pool, she turned into a mermaid. She looked like regular Catherine on top, but instead of legs, she had a fishy tail.
She was very excited. She could swim really, really fast, even faster than Michael Phelps. She could do flips in the water and make bigger splashes than anyone else. But, best of all, she could breathe under water. This was very exciting and she lived in the swimming pool all summer. Her mom and dad visited every day and asked her if she would ever come out of the pool. Now Catherine loved the pool, but she loved her mom and dad a lot and she missed being home with them. She wanted her legs back, but she wasn’t sure how to get them back. This was a complicated problem. She decided that she would go to see Dr. Douglass. When she got to the pediatrician’s office, Dr. Douglass was very glad to see Catherine and very surprised to see her fishy tail. She said, “well this is unusual. I’ve never seen a girl with a fishy tail. I saw a boy with a dog tail once, but never a fishy tail.” Dr. Douglass went into her office and pulled out a big, old looking book. She flipped through all the pages and after 2 minutes found what she was looking for. “It says here you have magic mermaid blood in you. This is very rare and very special. We just need to push your magic belly button and you will change back.” And with that, Dr. Douglass pushed on Catherine’s belly button and her legs reappeared. Catherine was delighted to see her legs again. Her mom and dad were so glad to be able to take her home. From then on, Catherine could push her belly button and be a mermaid whenever she wanted. She could push it again and go back to being a girl. She lived happily ever after.
Notes: In addition to the obvious personalization with the name of the pediatrician, I added Michael Phelps because she knew who he was. I made sure to leave opportunities for her to add little details throughout. It would be just fine to add details about what she ate at the pool, who she saw and what they said. Stories are told to an extent, but they are largely a conversation with the child. Details like the amount of time it took to find the cure could be exaggerated to any number that you and the child think is interesting. Make it 2 seconds or 2 years. The doctor could also comment on any number of ridiculous ailments she had seen. Frog face, chicken legs, anything fun to imagine. I used the belly button ending as an opportunity to be playful and push her belly button.