Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Joys of Reading

Ever since I became a parent, I looked forward to my kids learning how to read. I pictured a Norman Rockwell-esque tableau: snuggling on the couch with my little prodigies; listening to the mellifluous sound of them perfectly enunciating my most treasured childhood books; letting my mind wander briefly to the certainty of a Harvard scholarship...

Fast forward to this fall, which finds Paige in first grade doing exactly what I've described above, but with just a few minor adjustments. Her selected volume is a board book called "Barbie's Island Dream House," which, like a field mouse, somehow scuttled into our home unbidden, unwelcome, and from parts unknown. She then begins to read, struggling over every already-torturous word, and I'm jumping out of my skin just to make her spit it out. "Mal-ee ... Mal-I ..." ... "Ahh!! It's Malibu!" This exchange is followed by Paige glaring at me and yelling at 800 decibels: "SHHHHH!! I KNOW!!!!" 

As she continues to narrate an excruciating plotline at an even more excruciating pace, my mind and eye wander to the booze across the room, and at what moment I can limp over and mix myself a vodka we have there even a single clean glass In the house or do I have to mine one out of the sink ... 

But my train of thought is rudely derailed: "Mom? MOM? What's this word?" I tell her to sound it out, and she does. It's "Ken." Pass the fucking cocktail shaker. Oh wait, that's too classy. Also, the only one we had is in the sandbox now. And anyway, we mix our drinks with a Hello Kitty spoon in this house! Time to put those Harvard dreams on ice and start toasting to Juliard.

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