I stopped at Barnes & Noble on my way home from work yesterday and purchased $50 worth of children's books for Michael. While I am an avid reader, and I do want to encourage a love of reading in Michael, this had nothing to do with that...And everything to do with my sanity.
There was a very helpful woman working in the children's section and she asked if she could help me. Normally, I'd say no. I used to manage a bookstore and one of my sections was the children's section. I know my way around pretty well. However, this time I had some very specific criteria for the books I was choosing, and I really did need a little help.
"I'm looking for some books for my son. He's almost three and he insists that I read THE SAME BOOK OVER AND OVER AGAIN before bed. I need paperback books that don't have a lot of words in them. No board books, he won't tolerate those. Paperbacks. NOT MANY WORDS. And did I say NOT MANY WORDS!"
She was very kind and instead of laughing at my Green Eggs and Ham induced hysteria, she directed me to a number of books that were perfect. She cautioned me to stay way from the Berenstein Bears and I confessed that I've already hidden one of them because it has too many words. I ended up buying every book she recommended plus a few that looked interesting to me.
When I got home, I ran up to Michael's room and removed any book with lots of words and replaced them with the new books. Diggingest Dog? Gone. Green Eggs and Ham? Gone. Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt the Patriarchal Windbag? GONE!
The real test was at bedtime. Was Michael going to notice that I've taken away his most recent stalling tactics? Was he simply going to ask me to read more than three stories to make up for the shorter books? Was I going to have to spend what feels like FIVE FREAKING HOURS READING INANE CHILDREN"S BOOKS to get him to go to bed?
Nope. It worked. I read three short books and then he let me turn out the lights. Phew. The latest stalling attempt has been thwarted and my sanity is intact...for now at least.
If only I could convince him that Diego has other episodes to watch other than the Great Baby Jaguar Rescue.