Reading Dr Seuss is pretty much one of the best things ever about becoming a parent.
I defy anyone to read through Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and not get a lump in their throat. And The Cat in the Hat has always been one of my favourite books, as keen observers of my blog header will note.
As the Cat in the Hat likes to say,
“Look at me! Look at me! Look at me now! It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.”
Those are the kind of words you want to live by.
But I have to say, lately, reading The Cat in the Hat – or pretty much any bedtime story – has become much harder than it used to be. Take last night for example…
Me: Oh, But our fish said, “No! No! Make that cat go away! Tell that Cat in the Hat You do NOT want to play. He should n….”
Flea: Well, in fact, the fish shouldn’t really be speaking, should he? Because fish don’t talk.
Me: Well, no. Not strictly.
Flea: Wait… wait a minute. I had a BRILLIANT idea.
Me: What’s that then?
Flea: I am going to say some poetry. “Then Sally and I did not know what to say, because our fish didn’t know how to talk until that day…”
At this point Flea falls about laughing at her own hilarity for a full minute. I know I’ve lost the attention of the audience, but I persevere. God loves a try-er after all.
Me: “This is not a good game, said the fish as he lit..” WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Flea is lying on her back, legs in the air.
Flea: I’m a puppy called Wilbur. Will you rub my tummy?
Flea: Ruff? [Flea is now making puppy eyes]
We pause for tummy rubs. I try again.
Me: “But I like to be here, Oh, I like it a lot, said the Cat…”
Flea: When are we getting a cat, Mummy?
Me: After our holidays.
Flea: Oooh. YAY!
Attempt number four.
Me: “Oh, I like it a lot, said the Cat…”
Flea: When we get a cat, can it wear a hat?
Flea: But why not?
Me: Would you like to read two chapters by yourself?
Flea: Yes, but will you stay and listen to me read?
Flea: Brilliant, but I’m going to read in dog-language, okay? By the way, did you know that dogs can breakdance?
Remember when they just used to lie there and look at you, wide-eyed?