Thursday, November 04, 2004

Story time with Andre

In the last few days and weeks I've spent a great deal of time thinking about time that I will be spending with the child that Sarah and I are expecting in the next few weeks. I've been trying to get ready as best I can by trying to get "into the mind" of the young children of today. It's actually surprisingly easy for me; I think it has something to do with the fact that I can read at a 3rd grade level.

During the last few weeks and months, I've had a chance to spend a good deal of time with our friends little one, Lizzie. She's about a year and a half old and is an amazingly sharp child. You have to respect the job their parents have done when their child’s first three words were, Mommy, Daddy, and hockey.

Lizzie pretty much has me wrapped around her finger at this point. She'll see me walk through the door, smile, and say, "BOOK!" I'm honored to be on her list of people that she wants to read to her.

Having had the chance to read books such as "Meow", "Flip and Flop"(which surprisingly had nothing to do with politics), and "Maisy's first enema" to Lizzie, I've determined that one of the things that I want to do for my child is that I not only want to read to them, I want to make up the stories to read to them as well.

This has presented me with a few issues. For those of you who have read some of my previous stories on this site, you'll know that I can have a tendency to use language that may not be appropriate for the younger set. I'd hate to be in the middle of a story about Andre the Antelope and have something like this happen.

"Andre and his dad were walking down the street."

"Andre decided to walk across the street."

"Andre didn't think he needed to look both ways."

"Look out Andre!"

"Whew! The car missed Andre."

"That scared the shit out of Andre and his parents."

So, you can see how this could make story telling to my child quite interesting.

Another thing that I've noticed while spending time reading to Lizzie is the fact that I tend to talk down to her too much at times. I'll ask her questions about objects that we're looking at in the book.

"Can you see the cupcakes, Lizzie?"

At this point, she gives me a look that seems to say, "Yeah! I see the damn cupcakes. This is the 100th time I've seen the cupcakes. Are you blind? Do you need ME to tell you where the cupcakes are? Just read the book to me and try not to stray from the story again."

I'm so thankful that I get the chance to make these mistakes with someone else’s child. If my child turns out anything like me... issues like that one will be some of the most minor ones to tackle.


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