I’m a good mom. Generally. Most of the time. In fact, I have people say nice things about my parenting skills sometimes.
But I have a secret.
Sometimes, Little Miss asks me to read a book, a certain book. A book that involves Thomas the Tank Engine, and I groan. Now, this isn’t an ordinary Thomas book – that cheeky engine who loves to be a helper. No, this is a book that comes from the genre invented by someone who has no children.
This is one of those books that has sounds. Every third word, there is a picture, and a corresponding button that Little Miss is supposed to push that makes a “cute” sound.
Since Little Miss doesn’t know how to read (yet!), nor has she memorized where the sounds go, she simply starts pushing them as soon as I turn the page. Then she can’t hear what words I read. So she makes me repeat it. Except then she starts pressing the buttons again. And my headache begins.
Sometimes I tell her that Mommy has to work and so can’t read to her (even when I’ve finished working for the day). Sometimes Mommy hides the book for a few days to get a respite. Sometimes I decide that naptime needs to be moved up by a half hour, and unfortunately that means the book can’t be read right then. Now that Mister Man reads fluently, sometimes I ask him to read it to her — and then I go hide elsewhere.
It isn’t that I don’t enjoy reading to her. We read regularly, and we read all sorts of books (except Barney that I banned from the house). We read together, and we tell stories about what we think the books could be about.
But ohhh those books that make sounds.
The good(?) news is that the batteries are starting to run low. I say this because when batteries in a sound activated toy start going, the sound quality deteriorates (further). That oh-so-adorable noise of Thomas’s broken whistler now sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. The cheerful peep of James is quite mournful. And the thrumming of Harold the Helicopter sounds … more like paper ripping. And that might be generous.
I keep praying that the batteries will finally conk out. And I keep hiding that book, but somehow it keeps appearing on the bookshelf.
Do you think she’d notice if it was permanently “lost?”