Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Miss Less-Than-Perfect

All of a sudden, I have a random rattling sound coming from the right side of my office. What the hell?? It wasn't there on Friday…and now it is. I think it's something to do with the A/C. I'm thinking maybe it is freaking out because it's been as cold as northern Alaska since October and it's dying from over-exertion. Or maybe my office is rebelling and has declared itself to be on summer break--I have 15 minutes to evacuate or the whole flippin' thing is coming down on my head.

Sorry office…too much to do for a summer break now. You'll just have to keep rattling and make sure my room temperature is at a comfortable level. Deal with it.

I wanted to take today to personally let each and every one of you know that I am single-handedly responsible for the declining literacy rate in this country. Well, at least in one particular county in Texas…


Because I'm a bad mother and I don't read to my child for 20 minutes every night. Yes, I know it's important and yes, I know all of the reasons why.

But, it's such a pain in the ass to fit it in with everything else we have to do between the hours of 6 and 9-ish (which I know is a terribly late bedtime for a 5-year-old…if you'd care to come put my kid to bed every night, I'd almost consider paying you). I mean, I get home from work, the husband gets home from work, we have to cook dinner, eat dinner, straighten the house, clean the kitchen, clean the kid, feed the dogs, take our daily Candy Land beatings and *perhaps* take a moment to sit and relax before bed. All that done and BAM! It's 9:00. Generally, what happens is that within that moment of relaxation, I doze off. And then, when it's time to tuck the kid into bed, I'm so sleepy that I can barely mumble all the words to "Now I lay me down to sleep". (See Mom? I'm making her pray at night at least.) Sometimes, I'll admit I do a better job of watching the clock and manage to get her to bed by 8:45 so we can read a story before bedtime (these are the days when I feel like Super Mom).

Just because I don't read to her every night doesn't mean I don't *ever* read to her…I do. Just maybe on rainy Saturday afternoons or from the back of the box of mac n' cheese she's having for dinner. That totally counts, though, right? Sure it does.

One of the main reasons I have not spent hours and hours reading to her is that honestly? She doesn't enjoy it. She doesn't like sitting and listening to me read. She'd rather hold the book herself and make up a story by looking at the pictures…which, I have to admit, is much more entertaining. But a little scary because it shows that she already has control issues. Shocker, if you know me or my husband.

Here's one of her books as retold by her:

The book says: Hola! I'm Dora and this is my friend Boots the monkey. We're helping the red bird find his friends.
She says: Once upon a time, there was Dora and Boots. And Dora said, "We're looking for friends for the red bird."
The book says: Do you see any of the red bird's friends in the forest?
She says: There are the red bird's friends in the trees….where birds live.
The book says: We need to follow the red bird to help him find his friends. We have to go through the blue gate. If you say "abre" in Spanish, the gate will open. Can you say "abre"?
She says: We have to follow this red bird. Go through the blue gate. Say "open".
The book says: Oh no! We've lost the red bird! Can you look in backpack for something to help us see him?
She says: The red bird is hiding. Get the binoculars out of backpack to help find him.
The book says: We've found the red bird, but his friends are hungry. Do you see anything in backpack we could feed them?
She says: Feed the birds birdseed and they won't fly away.
The book says: Thanks for helping us find the red bird's friends! Adios!
She says: Thanks for helping! Bye! The end and they lived happily ever after. (because when you're five, EVERY book/story ends with "happily ever after")

See? Much better when it's told her way.  Just the facts ma'am. So maybe if she makes up the stories to the pictures, we'll have time to read a story every night? It won't take nearly as long as me reading what's *actually* in the book.

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