I promise this picture will make complete sense by the time you finish reading.
Reading to a boy has proven to be a different endeavor than reading to a girl. While Elena was up for just about any story, as long as you were reading aloud and simultaneously scratching her back, Eli tends to have an opinion about what’s being read. And back scratches? That would mean that he’d have to be sitting still next to you, which probably isn’t going to happen.
In order to preserve both my sanity and the beautiful ritual that is story time, Eli and I have struck a bargain. We alternate between three genres of literature: Stuff Mom Loves (endured by Eli), Stuff We Both Like (a teeny-tiny sliver on the Story Time Venn Diagram), and Stuff Mom Endures (loved by Eli).
Eli endured Charlotte’s Web, a classic I wouldn’t budge on. You simply haven’t had a childhood if you’re not exposed to Garth Williams’ illustrations. Anything by Roald Dahl is bound to be a book we both like, especially The BFG. “Am I right or am I left?” is our inside joke that never fails to get us both giggling. Of course, the category with the widest selection is the Stuff Mom Endures. LEGO books, Super Heroes, or “educational” books about half-pipes and ninjas … I’d rather read aloud the furnace manual.
But I love that boy and would do anything for him, so the other night found us reading NG Kids Ultimate Weird but True book. 192 pages of weird facts and odd stories in very tiny print – it’s every bit as riveting as it sounds. We got to a page that had facts about animals and numbers. Did you know that baby chicks can do simple addition and subtraction? I didn’t, and neither did Eli. In fact, he was very confused.
Eli: What’s addition?
Me: It’s when you add numbers together, like 2 + 2 = 4.
Eli: Oh! You mean audition. Yeah, I do that at school.
(Side note: Yes, Eli’s been doing addition at school. Only he swears it’s called audition, and either no one is correcting him or he thinks we’re ALL saying it wrong.)
Me: Well, then. Looks like you’re smarter than a chicken.
Eli: Uncontrollable giggles.
What does 100 hours of reading LEGO Ninjago and Tony Hawk biographies + little boy belly laughs equal? You do the audition, but my answer is priceless. Looks like we’re both smarter than chickens.