What is your most vivid memory of reading aloud to small children?
A) Watching a child silently act out parts of the story. B) Trying to read through glistening eyes at the end of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and feeling a little hand on my arm, there to console me. C) Seeing what “rapt” looks like. D) Glancing up and realizing the child had left the room.
E) Being asked “Why?” 57 times in the course of reading two pages. F) The look of beatific wonder in the child’s eyes. G) Projectile vomiting without warning. H) Opening the book, clearing my throat and seeing that the kid was already asleep.
I) The preschooler saying “This narrative arc is a jumbled mess.” J) The child interrupting me to say “Of course, the real plight of elephants is not even remotely amusing.” K) The child noting wrinkles on my face and asking what it’s like to be old. L) The smell of peanut butter breath.
M) The full-throated laughter. N) Reading a slightly scary part of the story and looking over to see that the child was hiding under his pajama top, which he had pulled up over his head. O) Being asked how I acquired a certain facial scar. P) The kid making a scrunched up “I’m not buying this” expression or the time I tried to skip over a particularly tedious stretch and got a dirty look from the youth listening to the story for the 200th time.
Q) Having the face of a stuffed bear slowly emerge over the top of the book and look me in the eye. R) Being asked “Why can’t we ever have green eggs?” S) Hearing “I think this story is too old for me.” T) The vaguely honey-like smell of freshly washed toddler hair.
U) Being asked if Beatrix Potter lives in Spokane. V) Hearing a kid matter-of-factly say “You’re a good reader.” W) Being asked “Did that really happen?”
X) Noticing that the cat also seemed to be listening to the story. Y) Looking up from the page, seeing my little girl’s face and realizing in a way I hadn’t before that when I blinked again she would no longer be a baby. Z) Other.
Today’s Slice question: What do kindergarteners like?