When I worked with Denise at a certain hyped management magazine, I always knew she had better things in her than the tasks she was given there.
Moreover, she was the most sensible 25-year-old I had ever met. After moving on to better jobs, including writing for teens at Scholastic, she turned to the hardest and most important work in the world. And on the whole, it seems to suit her.
But nothing can stop the itch to write. Here she shares the joy and frustration of reading repetitive stories to book-hungry kids:
“Nothing brings me more joy than knowing how much my 5-year-old son, Isaiah, looks forward to sitting in our rocking chair while I read him books at bedtime. And my heart swells with love whenever my 2-year-old twins, Joel and Nina, bring me books and say, ‘Read book, please.’
“But, holy moly, I’ve run into a very serious problem. While Isaiah can enjoy a variety of different stories, the twins are all about sameness. Even though I rotate their books constantly so we’re not reading the same ones every week, the repetitiveness of reading these books is driving me crazy.
“I’m sure many parents are familiar with the rhythm and rhyme scheme of many children’s board books, ‘Bend and reach, touch your toes. Now stand up straight and touch your nose!’ Lately, I’ve been adding a few colorful rhymes in my head as I read these books to the twins. ‘Clap your hands, then point to your shoes, reading this book is driving me to booze!’ ” Read more.
(I admit I felt the same way about Richard Scarry. The pictures were darling, but the words, not so, even if I did let “five-seater pencil car” become part of my vocabulary.)
For a mom with twins, it is must be twice as much “bend, reach, touch your toes,” but for sure these kids will grow up to be readers.
This is Denise with one of her three book mavens.