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February 27, 2004

Goodnight Mush

Snow day. UNC is closed down even though the roads were perfectly drivable by nine in the morning. No skin off my nose--I took the unexpected vacation with no guilt as to the wasted tax dollars of my fellow Carolinians. Ngnat and I created a cold white replica of Cleopatra's needle in the backyard, then came in, her to play at Nickjr, and I to vacuum at the bidding of the Sainted Wife.

I also read to Scotty--his first books ever. Yes, we're horrible parents, waiting nearly nine months (nine months!) after the child was born to begin his intellectual development. We'd probably have done so earlier, but our experience with Ngnat when she was an infant argued against it. She did her damndest either to rip the pages to shreds or gnaw them into little wet lumps during every storytime. We basically gave up trying to read to Ngnat until almost her first birthday. It doesn't seem to have done much harm. Her favorite books were Olivia, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and Elmo's Balls, as I remember.

"Elmo loves to play with his great big balls!

So I hadn't expected to be reading to Scotty for another few months, though he's sat with Ngnat and I while I've read to her on occasion. Today he had other plans, apparently, pulling one of the twenty or Ngnat hand-me-down board books from the shelf while I watched him play in his room this morning. He grabbed as best he could in one fist, then dragged himself and it across the floor, flipping it neatly into my lap once he reached me.

He seemed very pleased with himself, gurgling happily after his attempt to slam a Waggy Tales book into my crotch.

"Alrighty then, little man," I said, sitting him in the crook of my legs.

We read The Waggy Tales story of Ginger, a gripping narrative of a starving kitten and her ultimately unsuccessful quest for a fish, two Boynton books--My Oh My Dinosaurs!, a comparative study of the biological and emotional differences among the terrible lizards, But Not The Hippopotamus, in which the eponymous title character deals with social isolation from a peer group--and Goodnight Moon, beloved by toddlers with a yen for the classic strategies in bed-time avoidance technique. Scotty sat mostly still through all of them, occasionally smacking a particularly exciting page with his open palm.

"Nice high-five," I told him.

Then I put him down for his nap. He rolled over, pulled himself by the bars on the crib and screamed bloody murder as I left the room. Five minutes later he was asleep.

Faced with the rest of the day, I decided to make frozen custard.

Posted by Bigwig at February 27, 2004 03:52 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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