Lately my youngest son, who we’ve taken to calling Hoss because he throws his weight around to intimidate us all, has become more interested in books. I was getting concerned because my first born has always loved when I read to him, but his younger brother has had no interest. The oldest is an energetic kid, so it’s always been the trick up my sleeve when I’m completely exhausted and want to sit down.
“Hey, let’s read a book.”
And everything gets calm and quiet, and I have as much time as I want to recuperate, and I really mean as much time as I want. I could and have read Tina Fey’s Bossypants (skipping some inappropriate language) or a classic like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as I kept a cheerful Sesame Street voice throughout.
With our little Hoss though, it’s been a struggle. He did not want to sit down and read with me. If I did start to read, he’d shove his hands in my face, his way of saying, “Stop, this is awful,” which he also does anytime I try to sing to him. It was very upsetting for a former English teacher and lover of books. If he didn’t have my little pug nose and his father’s, well, everything else, I would have sworn they switched him at birth because we’re all readers in this house. Even the oldest, who technically can’t read yet, has memorized his favorites or makes up his own stories while he sits quietly with a new pile of library books.
So I was very surprised when my little man sat down with me one day and actually let me read a whole book to him. It was a short, baby board book, and he didn’t try to hit me with it, which was a good sign. He had me read it a few times, just flipping it over and over.
After reading Dear Zoo a few times, one that I’ve read and heard my oldest recite too many times, I asked the baby, “Do you want to pick another book to read?”
He hopped off my lap and headed right toward the bookshelf and a tear came to my eye. This was a milestone for sure, and one that even I, who cannot remember the date of my first date with my husband, will remember, surely.
Then, suddenly, he took a turn, noticing something out of the corner of his eye.
“Darn it!” I thought, he’s already forgotten about reading, but no, he was heading straight toward the coffee table where my husband had left a Graze magazine. Graze is a magazine that focuses mostly on small livestock farms and rotational grazing, soooooo, not exactly what I wanted to read.
I tried to grab for my own book, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin, the novel that the PBS show is based on, but the little one just pushed it away and threw the Graze magazine in my lap and climbed on up. I flipped through it a little, just pointing out pictures, but he wanted me to read. I started with an article about a dairy and the Irishman who owned an operated it in Missouri. Surprise, surprise (my husband comes from a long line of dairyman on one side of the family and happy-go-lucky Irishmen on the other). We also read and reread an article about camel’s milk, which I even thought was very informative, although I do not wish to try any, and the baby thought it was just amazing because he sat still and listened intently.
I should be excited about this turn of events, but I have a few problems with it.
I’m going to keep trying to read Dr. Seuss or Goodnight Moon, but all the while he keeps grabbing My Farm Friends and Say Moo?. Maybe I could order Successful Farming for him. It has a lot of information about market analysis. He could become something ag related in the finance sector, making just enough money to keep his elderly mother out of a nursing home or in a really expensive one that seems like the Hilton.