For half of my life (since I was about 2) I’ve reveled in the simple joys of life: Eating Cheerios with my feet, drawing on my stomach with Sharpies and of course reading. After all who doesn’t like curling up with a good book?
Problem is, since I can’t read yet, enjoying a compelling story puts me at the mercy of my parents. And rest assured, listening to those clowns read to me is like taking a handful of Ambien. Puts me right to sleep — not because I’m tired but because I’m so effing bored.
If you read to your kids, here are a few suggestions to keep your audience:
If you’re not a professional character actor lay off the accents
I know I might be responsible for crushing a few dreams of my parents. Maybe at one time they thought they’d be actors or something. But let’s be clear: Don’t use my story time to practice your “craft.” For example, Pinocchio’s Geppetto doesn’t need to be read in a stereotypical Chico Marx Italian accent — it’s embarrassing. And your “Bob Dylan with emphysema,” interpretation of the Lorax gets a little old. Keep your day job.
If you’re too tired to read, don’t cheat.
Just because you’re too exhausted at the end of the day doesn’t mean you should insult my intelligence by skipping multiple pages when you read me a story. It’s pretty obvious when a story goes from someone vehemently NOT enjoying green eggs and ham to someone who’s suddenly going ape-shit for the stuff. Give me some credit.
Keep your eyes on the page
Can 45 year olds ADD? If so I should slip my mom some Ritalin in her morning coffee. She’s a wreck. When she’s reading to me she can’t seem to focus for more than two pages at a time. I’m on the edge of my seat listening to Fox in Socks wondering whether “chicks with bricks come or chicks with blocks come” and suddenly she’s jumped out of bed switching the clothes to the dryer, checking her iphone or refilling her umpteenth glass of wine. Sit still sister.