I tell my sweet, well-behaved children to go pick out a story. They each choose an age appropriate book and calmly bring them over to me.
Peyton says, "You can read Ella's first, if she wants."
And then Ella says, "Oh, that's all right, older brother, we can read yours first. We read mine first last night, and we should be fair."
I tell my whackamo kids to go pick out a story. It's like the Running of the Bulls down the hallway. They choose their books as fast as humanly possible and race back to me. There's a lot of screeching and shoving of books at me. "Mine first!" "NOOOO! I got here first!" "No! Mommmmy! I go first!" "MOMMMMMMMY!"
We cuddle and read and discuss character traits and plot twists.
We're in the middle of reading a "Cars" book.
Ella declares, "Peyton! You have nipples and me have boobies!"
I tell her that they both have nipples. I don't even bother with the boobies part. Because, really, is this going to be some kind of great teachable moment? It's doubtful.
Ella points out a circle in the book and yells, "Nipple!"
Peyton finds a circle and yells, "Boobie!"
And then my kids must have smoked some kid-crack when I wasn't looking because they start to have that wacky kid high. You know the one - when kids are so struck with the sillies they are almost hysterical with the laughter and the squealing.
I try to keep reading but it's a "Cars" book so there are a lot of car tires. Which means there are a lot of circles. Which means that Ella and Peyton begin a frenzied rush to point out all the circles as they shriek "Nipple! Boobie! Nipple! Boobie! NIPPLE! NIPPLE! BOOBIE!"
And then it turns into a song, "Nipple! Nipple! NIPPA NIPPA NIIIIIIIPLE!"
So, ummm, yeah, I'm pretty sure I didn't miss out on that teachable moment opportunity.
Wait a second! They totally practiced identifying circles.
Sha-Bam! Even though I didn't help or encourage them. And even though they are 3 and 5 years old and have known for quite some time how to identify a circle. It totally counts. I am the BEST PARENT EVER.
Story time is over. My children get into their beds and THEY STAY THERE. And then I go into each room and we talk about the best parts and worst parts of our day and we give hugs and kisses and we say goodnight. And my children continue to STAY in their respective bedrooms. And there is peace and quiet in the house.
"Okay, great! You are both very strange. It's why I like you. Go get in your beds."
They get into their beds and from the living room it sounds like they're playing Marco Polo:
Kid One: "NIPPLE!"
Kid Two: "BOOBIE!"
Kid One: "Oh look! There's a BOOBIE!"
Kid Two: "BOOBIE! NIPPLE! BOOBIE!"
And then one kid or the other appears randomly in the hallway to yell "NIPPLE! BOOBIE!" in my general direction before racing back to bed.
You are totally jealous of my perfectly-executed bedtime reading routine.
I pour myself a much-deserved glass of red wine. Or three. While I watch "Weeds." Because Nancy is a terrible parent and she deals drugs. I judge my parenting skills by comparison. And that means I AM AWESOME.