Home > Books, Family, Humor, Parenting > Nightly adventures in misreading

Nightly adventures in misreading

I grew up with few family traditions. My mom was mostly concerned with making sure my siblings and I were fed, didn’t get hit by cars, and returned home before darkfall. I get our lack of traditions and don’t regret it anymore.

I nevertheless strive to create new family traditions where I can. I’ve written about one here already: our nighttime thankfulness discussions.

Another important one is nighttime reading. Once in a rare while, we’ll skip this nightly tradition, but 360 or so nights a year, you’ll find us reading at least two bedtime stories together. This is all well and good when I’m not pregnant and exhausted by 3 p.m., but can lead to some troubles in current circumstances.


As I inadvertently doze off while reading, my son’s prodding brings me back to wakefulness.

“Mommy, what’s a ‘nursing home’?”
“Why do you ask?”
“You just said it!”
“Oh, um, yeah. Sorry. I’m awake. I am.”

“Mom-my, you just said ‘Daddy.'” The real word is ‘Dalmation.'”

“Mommy, why did you just say ‘dammit’?”
“I did not?”
“Yes, you did. That’s a naughty word.”
“My mouth slipped, sorry. What I meant was, ‘barn.'”

Oh, we’re making family traditions, all right! I like to think of ours as a nightly reading tradition, but I wonder if my son might someday think of it as our nightly yep-Mom’s-human check.

Either way, it works for me.

  1. December 11, 2013 at 5:21 am

    haha…the important thing is you’re there and doing it.
    I remember Hilary Clinton commenting about all the evenings she pushed through falling asleep, just to be sure she read to Chelsea. No matter the politics…very human moment of her sharing, I thought.

    • December 11, 2013 at 5:29 am

      Aw, that’s awesome! I hadn’t heard that.

      I’ll be doing a guest post series following up on my “mother blogger” post. I wrote one of the five posts last night, including in that one my mom’s love of reading to me and my siblings as one thing for which I’m eternally grateful. The books were wonderful, but the time shared with books and my mom were magic.

      I love to think D might someday have like memories and feelings. ♥

  2. December 11, 2013 at 5:50 am

    That’s such a great tradition! And it gets better as the kids get older and the stories get so much more interesting! My boy just turned 9. We read together every night, we call it the “family read” and my hubby and son and I all take turns. We spent August through about 2 weeks ago on Harry Potter, bingeing on all 7 of them. Before that the Secret Series, before that Mysterious Benedict Society…I think I’m actually a better person now that I’m reading so many of these books I never would have chosen otherwise…and I hear it’s so hard to have son’s who love to read–your tradition is certainly one that will make a book lover out of him for the long haul….. But yes, we too often fall asleep mid-sentence!

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I love the thought of tackling longer readings with him eventually! It’s exciting to imagine reading Harry Potter books with him, or even the Susan Cooper books that helped make me an avid reader. It’s such a joy getting to experience these joys anew.

  3. December 11, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I can not even begin to tell you how true this is for me as well! I read nightly to Nate and its always his choice of what we read. He os reading most of it to me now and I am usually out cold in 5 minutes and my husband comes and wakes me up as long as Nate is asleep. Yup human here too! Its hard not to fall asleep when you are snuggling and “reading” with kiddos!

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I din’t even think about the snuggle aspect of things. Adding that to the equation, it does seem inevitable that sleep would occur. 😀

  4. December 11, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Love it – and a brilliant tradition either way.

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      It’s one I hope will be carried on through the generations! We may not have many, so far, but I’m glad this is one of them.

  5. December 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Awe, that’s so cute, Deb! Either way he remembers it (or both) will be precious to him indeed. Maycee and I used to read a bedtime story (or 2 or 3) every single night, also then pray and head to sleep. Now we don’t get to the story very often, but we say 2 prayers faithfully every night: 1. The Serenity Prayer and 2. The “Mommy” Prayer-as Maycee coined it. Sometimes it’s a nice long thank you and pray for him/her and this/that, other times it’s a “Thank you, Jesus! Over and out!” prayer, lol. But, I know that it’s “our thing”, and she will remember it always. Love you! XOXO-Kasey

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      These small moments end up being such a huge part of what we carry with us. There are a few things Li’l D asks me to do now that make me smile, knowing they’re part of how he’ll remember me someday . . . these little reminders that will pop up and make him feel like I’m right there with him. ♥

  6. December 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Reading, dozing, prodding, being together, great traditions all! Just wait until he can be reading to younger sibling. Great all around!

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      OOOOH! I love that thought! He’s taken to trying to teach the dog words recently, so I can easily imagine him reading to his little sibling. Aaaw.

  7. December 12, 2013 at 2:04 am

    You will look back with your son some day and be reminded of both storytime and the dozing and prodding. You will laugh at the dozing together. It is all good and will add to the tradition, making you human. When you are a grandmother, decades in the future the dozing will be part of the tradition. Sweet.

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      It’s awesome to imagine being prodded to wakefulness by another generation of youth! I hope I’m so lucky to get to see two new generations, as has my son’s great grandma. 🙂

  8. December 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

    How far along are you now? I remember being exhausted all the time, then I had about 2 months of neverending energy, and I’m slowly starting to descend back into exhaustion.

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Coming up on 25 weeks! I’m good through the morning and early afternoon, mostly, but a wave of tired comes crashing down mid-afternoon. If I’m lucky I get a second wind in the evening. Oh, how I savor those second winds!

  9. December 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Parents rarely engage their progeny in this manner anymore and its a shame.
    Thank you for the look back to what we remember as a simpler time.

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      When I share these moments with Li’l D, I remember my mom reading to me and my siblings . . . how few distractions there were, how it was just us and the books. The feeling of that is one I wish every child could have, throughout time.

  1. May 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm
  2. April 2, 2015 at 8:17 am

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