I am going to try and read an illustrated children’s book to our son every day, 365 days a year, right after we complete violin practice. What the hell. We’re alone together at this time, and for now I’ve given out so many skittles that Ray won’t be able to enjoy being a virtuoso when he’s twelve because he’ll be too busy being a diabetic.
There’s got to be a better way.
So, books as rewards? Not really. He’ll get a book after every practice, whether he needs it or not (today he screamed at me that he did not want a book, and that he wanted screen time, which is always a joy for a writing mother to hear). I told him that some American children enjoy being read to by their mother, and for some it is even sometimes not a punishment. He regarded me with enormous disdain.
Ray does not know, however, that I am infinitely smarter than he is. In fact, he’s just plain dumb. Because by the time we finished One Morning in Maine he was smiling and showing surprise and joy and wonderment — all the things a child should do when he hears this book for the first time after losing a tooth.
Try it on your little gap-toothed one. It will make violin practice that much easier to endure.