April 22, 2003 - Tuesday
"Hey You Guys!"
Such reads the exciting first page of Byron Barton's venerable Machines at Work. It's a line that used to break Harry from whatever he was doing when he was about Jeremy's age to come listen to the story. I've never thought it quite as surefire with Jeremy, but this afternoon I asked Jeremy if he wanted to read a story. He nodded somewhat ambivalently, but went over toward the book case in the living room. Since Machines at Work was right there beside me, I held it up and asked him if he wanted to read it. He shook his head side to side, but when he dallied around the bookcase, I just started...
"Hey you guys." It got his interest, indeed a smile, and he came over.
"Let's get to work," I read on page 2 and now Harry has looked up from his trains. he often can't resist a story, even if it's one that's far below his current level. Jeremy is sitting down with me now.
"Knock down that building," reads page 3.
Harry's heard this story countless times, most in just about the same innocently thrilled manner that Jeremy is now listening sitting on my leg. But Harry interrupts, "Why are they knocking down that building?"
I'm taken aback. Somehow the combination of innocence lost and analyzing the subtleties of Machines at Work I find very funny and have to stop reading for moment. But, I continue...
"Bulldoze that tree" is the text of page 4.
"Dig up that road." Page 5.
"If they dig up that road how will the cars get by," asks Harry, clearly no longer accepting the written word at face value.