September 17, 2003 - Wednesday
I read to Harry this evening at bedtime. I used to do that almost all the time, but lately as his mother has been doing bedtime. It started by circumstance over Labor Day weekend when I was out working for a few nights in a row, but we quickly decided that it was a good thing to try. After all, I've been putting Harry to bed, singing or more recently reading, pretty regularly just about all his post-nursing life. And, since I'm home in the afternoon, I end up spending a lot more time with Harry than mommy does as it is.
So, mommy's been reading chapters from her old Little House on the Prairie books. They are usually not too long and are generally self-contained little stories that don't draw all that much reference from the rest of the book. So, they are reasonably accessible. Still, most chapters have but one picture through several pages and many minutes of reading and that, to me, seems pretty impressive for a 3-year-old. Of course, Harry has always been good with stories and maintaining interest.
While there aren't many pictures, Harry has looked through the two books currently in his room by himself and is often ready with a request for a particular chapter based on the illustration. So, this evening Harry wanted the chapter with an illustration of Laura looking sad after having been disciplined with a strap. Mommy's read that chapter a couple of times I think, but Harry wanted to hear it again. After I'd finished he asked me about it. 'Why Pa hit Laura with the strap?' I'm not quite sure what I said exactly, but it was something about Laura being nasty (she hit her sister) and Pa getting mad at her and trying to teach her it was not nice. He asked why again and I tried to explain that some people think that sort of discipline is a good way to get children to learn. Then, with a grin I asked him if he thought I should do that we he is nasty. With an ever so slightly nervous laugh he said "no," but my guess is that maybe he's been thinking about it a little bit.