I received a number of questions and comments in Tuesday's post about reading bedtime stories to Michael. I've been mulling them over and decided to dedicate a post to them today.
The first comment was from Stacey at Conference Call on Mute. She said:
"I know your son is only 4 but given his sophistication (embalming, for example) have you thought about reading him books from your older childhood? Limit it to a number of chapters, of course."
Here's an interesting thing about that group of books. I've only read a few of them, and the one's I did read it was done when was much older. I had the normal exposure to Dr. Seuss and other picture type books because they were read to me. But, everything after that was skewed by my learning disabilities. When everyone was reading Phantom Toll Booth and other such books, I simply could not read anything more than a few sentences long. So, I never read them. By the time I had received the assistance I needed in learning to read, I was in 5th grade. Instead of reading age appropriate books, I raided my sister's bookshelf. Considering she was two years older than me and an advanced reader, that means I was not reading age appropriate books. So, I went from Dr. Seuss to Judy Blume - I still remember my mom's horror when she discovered I had just read Forever - To Stephen King.
It's probably time to fill in that gap.
Then there is the whole limiting the chapters idea. It's great. Unless your kid is Michael. Then, it means I nightly battle in which Michael cries while I try to explain why I'm not going to read the entire book at once.
The next comment was from Beth. She suggested that I have Michael read to me instead. This is a great idea, and I've tried it a few times. Michael does not approve of this approach. I am the mommy and it is my job to do the reading, and no deviations are allowed. As such, the mommy is also required to read the books in a specific manner and don't even think about not saying the Rotten Robot's lines using a computerized voice.
Let's just say this kid has helped me master my eye rolling.
Now Lindsay has a great approach. She suggested that I separate them into long books and short books and allow one long book or two short books. Currently, we have short books, longer books, and books that are too freaking long and I've hidden. I think I'll take a little time and completely redo Michael's bookshelves and see if I can institute this policy.
The books that are too freaking long will stay hidden.
The other Stacey chimed in with: "Must be tough. Good thing I don't have to deal with this exact same situation. Yep, good thing."
Can I just say that it's nice to know that I'm not alone in this? Cole and Michael sure do know how to work their mommies.
Finally, Desi had a great suggestion. Read the books really fast. I tried this one last night. I thought he would find it funny and laugh about it. Oh my word did that tick Michael off. I read the first page fast and as I was flipping to the second page, he placed his hand on the page and directed me to slow down. Clearly, I was breaking his bed time story rules and he put an end to that right away.
Folks, I'm living with a literary dictator! But, at least he loves books, right?