My oldest kid, Matthew, likes to read which is very fortunate because he has to read for homework for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. The boy has breezed through every book he has in this house and is, according to his teacher, reading way above his grade level. I think that’s pretty cool because when I was Matt’s age, I was reading just about everything I could get my hands on and when there was nothing left, I dug around in my older brother’s school books or my mom’s medical encyclopedias and I just sucked it all down. Naturally, I think it’s wicked cool to see Matt read way past his thirty minutes every evening.
In my house, you will see Dean, Matt, Owen and Olivia all on various video games and then you will see me curled up somewhere with a book. I’m the obvious dork in the house. It is pretty much guaranteed at this point that if I want someone else to read something then I’d better just stick the material right there in the bathroom next to the toilet. No kidding. But now I have Matthew of all people curled up on the other end of the couch with his nose wedged between the pages of a book and I’m digging it.
My only issue is that I often times don’t like what he’s reading. It’s none of my damn business what he chooses to read and the bigger part of me is just thrilled that he does it at all so I don’t really complain. However, I do try to manipulate him and I also whine a lot. My kids are the types that will choose books based on cartoons or movies or t.v. shows and this grates on my nerves in the worst way. This will lead to arguments:
Matt: I want this Star Wars book.
Me: That? That’s trash. How about this one here?
He: What’s that one called?
Me: War and Peace.
He: It’s really long.
Me: It’s really not, though. The print is gigantic.
He: That print is tiny.
Me: Yeah, but it goes by really fast.
He: What’s it about?
Me: I dunno.
He: You haven’t read it?
Me: Hell, no. That book is long. And I hear it’s really boring.
Okay, so sometimes my attempts are feeble at best but I do try pretty hard to steer the boy in a better direction. Dean compromises by allowing him to pick out something retarded so long as he also picks out something decent. This tends to work pretty well.
Maybe if I can get my head out of my ass then someday he’ll be reading a book that I wrote.