Extra – Extra Reading Time

Most nights after we tuck the kids in bed we give them extra reading time. It’s usually 15 minutes to a half hour and then lights out. Son #1 is in charge of the lights and so far has followed the rules. Last night was a bit of a different story.

Earlier in the week he found “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” on his book shelf and was drawn to it like a moth to the flame. The second he saw it he had to read it. “The Wimpy Kid” is an international craze but is extra special in our area because the author is a local. Until now, we had been steadily reading our way through “The Magic Tree House” series and Beverly Cleary classics about Ralph S. Mouse and Henry Huggins all of which we have loved. But reading “The Diary of the Wimpy Kid” is like going from watching Sesame Street to Tom and Jerry: deliciously malicious.  It’s his first venture into sarcasm and trickery. What’s not to love?

We giggled our way through the first forty pages together. I found out about the mysterious “cheese touch” the kids have been doing since last December. It is a good feeling to crack the code and know the source of the joke. But I got left out last night when he chose to read this book on his own during extra reading time.

About twenty minutes after lights out, son #1 appears.

“I can’t sleep. I’m really scared there is going to be a fire!” he tells us.

“There’s not going to be a fire. There is nothing to worry about. Go back to bed.”

He is obviously wide awake so I offer that he can read for ten minutes. This scenario repeated itself and by ten o’clock he was still awake when we were going to bed. “Mom, look how much I’ve read. Mom, look at this funny picture. Mom, I have just this many pages left!” The excitement was undeniable and I realized that we had been suckered. “I can’t sleep” was really “I want to read more of this awesome book”.

I can’t fault him. Reading a book that you can’t put down is like getting a gift. We’ve all been there staying up way too late just to find out what is going to happen next. I am fully prepared to find him under the covers with a flashlight or trying out some new stall tactic. He’ll have to think up some good ones fast because there are five other books in the series.