"Can we read a book now?"
Wherein I express strongly-held opinions on bedtime stories
“Can we read a book now?”
This is the point when I know I’ve been had.
Every night as a parent of small children is a complex series of negotiations. You can have dessert if you eat your carrots. You can watch a show if you clean your room. You can have my wallet and car keys if I can have 12 seconds of silence.
Frequently, these are negotiations of time—the finite evening parceled away bit by bit. One more episode of a beloved and terrible cartoon, some extra time with the magnet tiles or Hot Wheels, a final snack because they’re hungry after not eating their carrots, and soon we find ourselves well past the supposedly set-in-stone bedtime. I’ve got plenty of things I need to do once the children are finally in their beds to stay, and story time was long since bargained away.
But they know that I won’t say no.
“One book. But I get to choose.”
This is my only card to play, and I have to play it carefully.
You may consider yourself a discerning reader—I once did—but it turns out that there…