The email message came from Miss Prisk, my son Benny’s pre-school teacher.


March is Read Across America month, and she is looking for parents to visit the classroom and read to her kids for 20 minutes or so.



Easy enough. Since my wife started working again, I drive Benny to school for a 1 pm start and pick him up at 3:30. Between trying to figure out where to park somewhat near the school, signing him in and the commute itself, it seems that I have about 43 minutes to get things done between drop off (1 pm) and pickup (3:30 pm). So, one day at 3 pm—leaving 13 minutes for errands—would not be too much of a hardship, right?


Reading to Benny, who will turn four in July, is clearly one of my greatest pleasures. The only downside is that reading time—right after his nightly bath—usually commences around 11:30 pm and often concludes after 1 am. It involves a whole lot of verbal and dramatic father-son shenanigans that perhaps are not unique to us. The time frame may be, and while I’m not totally objective here, Benny happens to pre-read, play on words and generally drive me crazy much more so than the average 3.5 year-old would, or could.


Reading time has been the central part of what Benny has termed Happy Time for as long as I care to remember—or about 20 months in people years. I love it, he loves it, and neither of us gets nearly enough sleep due to it.


I responded to Ms. Prisk’s invitation with a few open dates, and she suggested Friday, March 9. Excellent: an opportunity to read to 13 Bennies, or at least one Benny and a dozen of his classmates of varying amounts of Benny-ness.


Two quick notes:


Miss Prisk is absolutely her real name. I am starting to like her better than her name. Kind of like “With a name like Smuckers, it’s gotta be good.” At least relatively speaking.


Secondary note: I have always suspected that Benny came out of the factory on Hawaiian time; he’s still trying to re-calibrate to East Coast life. Which is tough when he lives with an insomniac of a Dad. At least, I’m not on a 9-5 schedule; more like a 1:30-3:30, but after sleeping from 1:30 till about 4:30. It’s a full life.


On the drive to school yesterday, in between some knock-knock jokes, quickie song parodies and I’ve got good news and bad news shticks, I gave Benny the good news in riddle form, even if it should have yielded an obvious answer. Here’s what it yielded.


Guess who’s going to be the special guest reader for your class next Friday?


Is it the Cat-in-the-Hat?


Nah, they couldn’t get him, but good guess. Try again.


Miss Prisk?


No, she’s always there. Think of someone you love to read with.


Oh, Raymond (his classmate and the only younger kid in his class of threes, fours and a couple who already turned five.)


Nah, not Raymond. I don’t think he’s reading yet. Is he? This is someone you know very well.


Miss Gale?


No, not her, (I said, suppressing a Damnit!) Remember, this is your favorite reading partner.


Oh, Miss Claudia?


NO!  Who do you love to read with every night and very early morning (not in Hawaiian time, but)?


Oh, is it you, Dad?


Yes! Isn’t that cool?




A couple minutes later, I observe, “Benny, I think we’ve been watching too much TV lately.”


I don’t watch too much TV. I watch too many commercionals [sic., if spelled out].


How can I argue with that? One would think PBS Kids would be commercional-free.



As always, thank you for reading. Please check out my  books, blogs and speaking information.

And, please feel most free to "like" my Facebook Fan Page; I like it when that happens.


Comments are closed.