Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How to read bedtime stories to 3 girls (for fathers everywhere)

You're going to need three little girls. I recommend conceiving them as closely spaced as you and your wife can manage. Remember, the sooner you're done, the sooner they can move out of the house. Assume the children are already all dressed for bed, with teeth brushed/flossed/fluorided. You may as well assume you've had two beers; you're about to earn them.

Select a book. This will require the patience of Job, as no two children wish to read the same book at the same time. They will shout suggestions and attempt to push past you to get to the bookshelves. If any books are in hand, they will be grabbed, and a shoving match will result. Mediate the argument by ruling in favor of the child who is being the calmest, in order that the child who is already agitated will become a tornado of anxiety and sobbing. Reassure her that her choice will be read next, although you secretly suspect that this will not happen.

Cautiously sit on the bed or on the couch, being careful not to expose your back to any child, lest you be climbed faster and more painfully than a fratboy's ladder at the Playboy Mansion. Guard your privates and open the book. This is the signal for all of your children to dive at your lap, in an effort to gain every iota of your precious love for themselves. If you are struck in the privates, gently admonish your children, using the comical nickname you have for your abused genitals. I call mine "the package," but you are free to select your own.

Once all of your love has been gathered and the three children are each seated on one leg, with no sharing (implementation left to the reader), begin reading. As bony elbows are driven into your ribs, announce the title of the book, substituting your favorite nonsense into it. Kick it up a notch to retain your sanity. My children delight at the stories of "The Three Little Weasels" and "Goldilocks and the Three Belt Sanders." If your children object, ask them who is reading the story, them or you? Be assertive, but recall that your middle daughter will shriek and dive from your lap to run across the room and hide in the alcove between her dresser and the closet at the slightest provocation.

When the story is finished, renege on your earlier commitment to read more stories, as daughter the youngest is already hair-pullingly exhausted and can't stop yanking the book from your hands. Take your youngest daughter to bed and as your older daughters kick the adjoining wall in frustration at your departure. Ensure it's dark enough that if your youngest flails at you with a stuffed giraffe, you will be struck in the nose.

Savor this time. She's too little to talk back.


Anonymous Craig said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:03 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home