I chugged a celebratory gin and tonic when it was clear that all three of my boys were able to read by themselves. No more fumbling for a reasonable explanation as to why “cough” doesn’t rhyme with “enough.” On crotchety days I could screech, “Get out of here and go read a book!” Best of all, I suddenly had more time to catch up on current events in my New Yorker and US Weekly.
What parent can resist seeing his child engrossed in a book? Not me, and I know you can’t either. Try to tear your eyes away.
Reading during dinner at a restaurant, the hell with the macaroni.
You can read Captain Underpants anywhere.
I didn’t know boys were biologically capable of reading during a basketball game, but hey, whatever.
Encyclopedia Brown is still capable of enthralling the small fry.
(Okay, they only sat side-by-side reading quietly for a split second, but I caught it on camera which at least makes me a devoted, intellectual photographer of bullshit.)
Given the avid reading in the Glamore house, I wasn’t a bit surprised when I peeked in on the twins the other day and saw them hunched over the dictionary, reading it together. I smiled, envisioning their SAT vocabulary points rising by the minute, and went to take a shower.
It was when I emerged from the shower and overheard their conversation that I realized that they were not being enriched in the exact way I had hoped.
“When people say that they don’t mean ‘sit on your donkey” or ‘sit on your stupid or silly person.’ They want you to sit on your fanny,” Drew said.
“But it doesn’t say ‘fanny’ or ‘bottom’ or ‘b-u-t-t’ in here,” said Porter.
“That’s how you know it’s a cuss,” Drew said authoritatively. “Let’s look up ‘s-h-i-t.'”
I heard pages turning and bodies jockeying for position.
“I don’t see it,” Porter said. “Maybe we aren’t spelling it right.”
“We’re spelling it the right way, stupidhead,” Drew said impatiently. “It rhymes with ‘sit’ and that’s ‘s-i-t’ but it has ‘s-h’ instead of just ‘s.’ It’s not in here because it’s a bad cuss.”
“I heard Mom say it that time when she dropped her glass of wine and it broke.”
“Now I’m looking up the one that rhymes with ‘witch,'” Drew said. He masquerades as my most well-behaved boy, but I was getting a glimpse of his dark side.
“It’s not here! This dictionary doesn’t have any good words in it.”
“It has ‘Lyme disease,'” Porter pointed out. “I had a tick on my neck and Mom took it off before it sucked out all my blood and gave me Lyme disease.”
“That’s gross,” Drew said.
Talk of ticks and Lyme disease evolved into a discussion of whether boys’ nipples are properly called “nipples” or Porter’s preferred term, “breasties.” At that point I quit eavesdropping and went to the kitchen to start the Chipotle Chicken on Corn Cakes.