Thursday, February 10, 2011

Close The Door

Over the last fourish years, we’ve accumulated a fair number of children’s’ books. We got books about green eggs. We got books about ham. We got books about the combination of green eggs and hams.

I like reading 99.9% of them. But there is a small collection of books that drive me up the wall. Books that I take great efforts to hide behind the bookshelf. Books that are too long or too dumb or feature that “Go Diego Go” kid who yells all the time.

But there is one book that I hate more than all the others. It’s called “Open the Door, Little Dinosaur.” It’s a crappily drawn book that involves a dinosaur who, well, opens doors while looking for his mommy. Each page has a little cardboard flap that opens (“Is mommy in the basement? No, it’s Daddy!”). It ends with the dinosaur’s birthday or something. Everyone knows dinosaurs don’t open doors. They don’t have opposable thumbs. I know my description makes it seem like a harmless book. But that book was the work of the devil.

I was pretty sure I burned the book in a trash can. And melted the trashcan. And buried the trashcan in our yard in Evanston. And poured concrete over the trash can and then built a swing set over the concrete. And burned the swing set. And then burned down our Evanston house.

Imagine my surprise when Luca shoved the book in my face the other night.

I gasped. “No, Luca. That book is eviiiiil,” I pinched the book in my finger and thumb and dropped it to the floor.

I picked up the nearest baby book. “Ooh, look. ‘Baby’s First Words!’ Car…girl…boy.”

Luca slapped the book out of my hands and wriggled out of my lap. He shoved the crappy dinosaur book in my face again.

Rather than deal with a crying Luca, I read the book. But in the least enthusiastic way ever. I sounded like Ben Stein on his worst day. After the book was over, I dropped it to the floor.

“See? Bad book. Bad book. Boring. Now let’s get back to the exciting tales of the car, boy and girl.”

Luca scrambled to the floor and retrieved it. He demanded another reading. And another. And another. And another.

As I read the evil book the twentieth time, I could have sworn the little dinosaur winked at me.

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