Monday, July 31, 2006

Oh, for heaven's sake

Let's turn down the dial on the morbid-o-meter for a moment and talk about everyone's favorite topic: books. Here's what G has been reading lately.

The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Return to Howliday Inn
Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby
Time Warp Trio: The Not-So-Jolly Roger
Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion

Now, you'd think that since G loves reading so much herself, she'd be understanding when someone else wanted to read. But that's where you'd be wrong. Yesterday, after playing action figures with her for close to an hour, I said I'd like to read my book for a while, and we had the following conversation:

Me: What would you like to do while I read?
G: *pout*
Me: You could read too, or play with toys, or watch TV, or draw ...
G: *sulk*
Me: We played for a long time! I need a break!
G (with folded arms and heavy sarcasm): Go ahead and read as long as you want. I'll just be over here, bored.
Me: Okay, look. I'll read for ten minutes, and then we'll do something together. See, the clock says 5:33 now, so when it says 5:43, I'll stop.
G: All right.

So the reading commenced. For the first five minutes of it, G lay sprawled across my feet like a dog and asked, "How many minutes are left now? How many now? What about now?"

Me: Seven more minutes. Are you sure you don't want to read your own book?
G: No, I want to stay down here.
Me: Okay.

Silence fell. A moment later, I felt something hot and damp on my lower leg.

Me: Are you licking my ankle?
G: No.
Me: What are you doing?
G: I'm sucking it.
Me: Argh! Do not suck my ankle! That's disgusting!
G: *suck suck suck*
Me: Will you please go do something else?!
G: How many minutes left now?

You can imagine how well I was able to concentrate with all this going on at my feet. When my time was up, I shut the book and said, "Okay, what do you want to do now?" And do you know what the child chose? She chose to sit at the table and make little figures out of clay BY HERSELF! Why could she not have done that for a measly ten minutes while I read a few pages? The world may never know. Anyway, the next time she's happily absorbed in a book, I'll make sure to lie down on her feet and slobber on her ankle. That'll learn her.

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