or, "how not to read to your kids"
scene: K&L & me, leaning against pillows on our bed, 2/3 of us in jammies and 3/3 of us ready for bedtime stories. We've been struggling with bedtime, having already spent 20+ minutes of preparation interrupted by repeated break&dash escapes from L (me: where are you going? L: but I need to do thomthing!), irregular bed-bouncing punctuated by bodies launched into my unsuspecting lap, resistance at having back teeth brushed, pacifiers tossed aside in frustration then needed... in other words, pretty much the usual. Except that on this evening it's just me because M is working late. So, the girls are both brushed and relatively settled down at last, and we've gotten nearly through our first book....
me (reading from The Hungry Caterpillar): ... on Friday he ate...
L: 3 orangeth!
me: 3? Count them.
L: One, two, three.
me: right. So how many?
me: That's right K. L, count them with me.
L (running her finger randomly across the page): onetwothreefour!
me: One, two, three, four, five. 5 oranges.
L: Then had terrible tummy ache
K: No! Not yet!
me: Right, not until Saturday, after he...
L: I want watah.
K: I need my pacifier!
me: Let's just finish this first.
L: I need watah! Watah!
K: Pa. Ci. Fi. Er!
me (tossing the book down and climbing over them): Ok, you two finish this! K? You want water too?
Out to get K's pacifier, L's water. Into the bathroom to refill the water, back to the bedroom where the girls are sitting silent on the bed staring at their laps, L with her bottom lip sticking out as far as the tip of her nose.
me (handing L her water and giving K her pacifier and climbing in between them): Ok, let's finish the book.
K (quietly): I want my water.