I love to read. Whenever I am asked what my hobbies are, I always say two things: sleeping, and reading. My love for books came from my mother who, as far back as I can remember, has always been surrounded by stacks and stacks of books. I knew that when I had kids I was going to try to pass this love on to them. Well, now my kids can read, and I have discovered that there are unexpected consequences.
Here are the five things I can’t do now that my kids can read:
1. Read smut
Remember when “Fifty Shades of Grey” came out, and all the moms were talking about it, and Meredith said, “Don’t leave me out, hosers,” and bought the book on her Kindle, and then read about anal plugs while sitting at the playground with her kids? Those days are over. All it would take is a child trying to sound out the word “penetrate” to make me lose my parenting license for good.
Also off the table? My gossip sites. Now, I am not proud of this, but from time to time (and by that I mean multiple times a day) I will click over to People.com or whatnot and read all the celebrity gossip. I don’t do it around the kids anymore, since the time one of them came over and said, “Mommy, who are all these people?” Trying to figure out a way around telling my child that this was a celebrity and I was reading about them because there was a chance they might be pregnant, brought me to the very bottom of my shame spiral. So bye-bye, People Magazine. I’ll see you during school hours.
2. Lie about signs
You know when you go to the store and pass by the toy section, and your child sees a toy that they desperately want to have? They start begging, and you say no, and they keep begging, and then you say, “Oh no, look! See that sign? That sign says they’re all sold out. Sorry, honey.”
3. Skip pages in books that are too long
I’m looking at you, Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book. There are some books that my husband and I used to skip the whole middle sections of (“Once upon a time, Ariel wanted to be human. Then she married Prince Eric. The end. Wow, lots of twists and turns in that one. Okay, time for bed!”)
Now books get vetoed before they even make it off the shelf. There’s a lot of “Nope! Not that one!” going on at bedtime in my house.
4. Bend the law
Me: “Okay, buddy. Let’s hop out of the car and get your sister.”
Son: “No…puh…puh…parking. Mommy, that sign says ‘No Parking’.”
Me: “…Yes, it does. Great reading, honey. But it says no parking between 8 and 4, and right now it’s — oh. 3:45.”
Son: “Mommy, we can’t park here. It’s against the law.”
Me: “You are absolutely right. I don’t know what I was thinking. Let’s find another parking spot. Hey by the way, are you wearing good walking shoes? Do you have your bus pass? Terrific.”
5. Get through bedtime in a reasonable amount of time
Sometimes, my kids want to get out their early readers and read their bedtime story to me. This is awesome. It’s adorable. I encourage it. But while they work their way through each and every word, a little piece of me begs for it’s life while being slowly smothered.
Me: “Bedtime! We have time for two books!”
Daughter: “Mommy, can I read you Strawberry Shortcake’s School Friends?”
Me: “Absolutely! We have time for three pages.”