Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Serial Readers

One of my parenting quests is to raise all nine children to absolutely love books.

I've worked hard to expose each of my kids to classic literature, though I have succumb over the years to such questionable fare as Captain Underpants. "At least he's reading." I mumble over and over to myself in a Yoga like mantra.

The big kids know that if they're reading, I won't ask them to clean, so holding a book is akin to a "Get out of Jail Free" card. Except I do draw the line when kids engage in re-runs as a tactic. "If you know how it ends, you can put the thing down and come make your bed."

But with every success in parenting, there is a downside. Every morning, my newly five year old son comes down for breakfast and asks to "look at the box." as he eats his cereal. It doesn't matter if it's Cracklin’ Oat Bran or Frankenberry Blue, he sits transfixed by the back of the cereal box and heaven help the child that wishes to either look over his shoulder or actually pour a serving for his or herself.

Being children, there are those who KNOW this is his habit and recognize that the fastest way to enjoy and annoy is to swipe the cereal so that they can read the back with the claim, "You can't read" as an excuse. Mom gets irritated when breakfast makes the five year old cry. And when Mom gets irritated, mom plots.

Now I have been after my older kids to read their assigned books, to which the kids have responded, "Feh. It's summer." But we live in a modern age, and Mommy is armed with a copying machine and the assigned reading materials.

So tomorrow when kid one sits down to Cherrio's, he's going to find the first page of "Cricket in Times Square" taped to the back for his viewing pleasure, while earnest eaters of Strawberry Mini-Wheats will enjoy a passage from "The Cay" or "The Witch from Blackbird Pond." Consumers of Fruit Loops shall feast upon the words of E.B. White.

That's not counting the snip from Hemmingway's Farewell to Arms I posted on the back of the milk! And I'll keep a book handy for the five year old so he too can enjoy reading, and tape it to the back of my Special K.

I can't wait for the first meal of the morning.

Now, my next problem is to somehow post algebra problems on the sandwiches at lunch. If Johnny has ten potato chips and Rita has three...


Get Listed in Google said...

Great post!

<3 Lindsay

MightyMom said...


I want an update on this in about a week and see if it works!
cuz I may stick in my Mean Old Mommy Tricks file for future use!!


Karen said...

Good pun!

Lisa said...

You're a genius. Super post -- I love the way you think.

MaryL said...

I don't remember having packaged cereal back in the dark ages when I was a kid. But my Mom swore I would read soup can labels if nothing else was available.


Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!