Bedtime Stories

We have just recently started reading LB bedtime stories. Her dad and I are both voracious readers and we’re hoping that she follows in our literary footsteps.

Our current bedtime book is Mother West Wind “How” Stories by Thornton W. Burgess, published in 1916. So far, we have learned how Old King Eagle won his white head, how Old Mr. Mink taught himself to swim, how Old Mr. Toad learned to sing, and how Old Mr. Crow lost his double tongue.

So last night, DB was giving her her bedtime bottle and reading to her about Old Mr. Toad. Normally I don’t bother them, as it’s their special time together, but I had a question about dinner. As I was walking up to the room, I heard DB say to our 12 week old daughter, “That’s a really terrible sentence, LB. The syntax and grammar are all wrong. I can’t believe they couldn’t find a better way to write that. Anyway, so – Peter Rabbit never will forget…”

I just started laughing because I don’t know anyone but my husband who would sit there with an infant and deconstruct the grammar and syntax and whatnot of a children’s book.

Usually, a bottle and a story takes about 25 minutes, all told. And I try to have dinner ready when he finishes. But last night, 25 minutes came and went. So did 30 and finally 35 minutes. I could still hear his voice from downstairs, so I knew he hadn’t fallen asleep in her room.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, somewhere around 40 minutes, DB came down. I asked him, “What were you doing up there? It doesn’t take that long to read a story.”

And DB, who spent years of his life in academia and can debate literature with the best of them, replied, “We were going over what we learned from tonight’s chapter. You know, the moral of the story? I was teaching her the underlying message the author was trying to convey.”

And again, I just laughed. Because I don’t know anyone but my husband who would sit there with an infant and expound upon the underlying message of a children’s book.

I can’t wait to hear what the underlying message is in Goodnight, Moon or                     Hello Bee, Hello Me.

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