11 December 2010

On Not Reading Books, Occasionally

She's good at it, you know.  Persuasion, that is.  With me the willing victim, always falling before the power of those blue eyes and that sweet voice.  Especially when she says "Please?"

It came down to a choice.  A regular occurrence when she is with me: "Do you want to do this or that?  We won't have time to do both", I intone in a voice not serious enough by half, "So pick one."  She does, as always, but not without a half-dozen or so flip-flops in the space of a minute.  This time she picked the television show over the books.  I was only a little disappointed.  The show she wanted to watch was "Chopped", on the Food Network.

This was nirvana, after a barrage of Spongebob and iCarly.  To her credit, she asked me to change the channel when "Big Time Rush" came on.  Perhaps the ad hoc music indoctrination, er...lessons...I have been impressing upon her are beginning to pay off.

She pulled the comforter off her bed and brought it to the couch, saying she was chilly.  She unfurled it as best she could and asked me if I wanted to stay warm, and I did, so the end of the comforter was mine to share.  She wrapped herself up and settled in for the show.

I was struck by how interested she was in the subject.  She asked me what the ingredients were, did people really eat deer, what do yams have to do with dessert.  I was alternately amused and distracted by her questions and comments.  She even did some critique of one or two dishes, saying that "Keith should win, because they said he was more creative.  Daddy, why did he put marshmallows in the chicken?* That doesn't sound very good".

She watched with interest as the episode unfolded, as did I.  It was fascinating to see her level of interest, even willing to forgo reading books before bedtime, for the sake of seeing who would win.  She fought off drowsiness, and she did make it to the end.  She seemed pleased to have seen the winner.  Yawns were yawned, eyes were drooping shut.  I had feared a bit of a scene ("Please, just one book!") but she was true to her word, and went to bed without a fuss.  I turned out the light, and said "I love you, sweet pea".

From under the covers, her muffled voice drifted back.  "I love you, too, daddy."

For the first time in years, having spent an hour or so watching television didn't seem like a waste of time at all.

*Yes, there were marshmallows, and it was turkey, not chicken.  But she asked a good question.  I couldn't find a good explanation on the FN site, but maybe this link might help.


  1. You should be extraordinarily proud of her - the child has exquisite taste. Marshmallows in a bird of any kind? Sounds like a disaster in the making.

    Now, if you should ever find yourself in Podunk, feel free to bring Wee Lass, and the Sushi Bar Lady will be MORE than happy to explain to her why "yams" and "dessert" go so well together.


  2. Children are delightful little weirdos, aren't they? She sounds like a lovely little girl, IG.


  3. What a sweet moment in time for you. Your love for her just shines!

  4. You, my friend, are the first recipient of my new Goodfather award, for being (anyone? anyone?) a spectacularly good father. Beautiful story, well-told as always.

    ps. check your email...

  5. I like the idea of having flavor contrasts, so the sweetness with the meat sounds good. (Although, I just turned vegetarian.) Enjoying the prep of food with family is pretty cool. Especially with the sweet younguns. :-)

  6. In time she will read to you.My oldest had just started school and asked her teacher why she was writing all that to a parent.She started reading young.Sounds like you need to cook something together.

  7. i imagine the marshmallows would melt and add a sweet glaze to the turkey, and a nice crunch?? sounds yummy to me..your kid has good taste :-)

  8. She sounds like she asks good questions. I wonder why marshmallows too.

  9. Sometimes there is a case for tv over book. Especially if you are sharing with your sweet girl. What a lovely evening.


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Don't suffer your crimes
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