With her signature blend of self-deprecating and irreverent humor, Karen Alpert --- author of I HEART MY LITTLE A-HOLES and the popular Baby Sideburns blog --- shares a less-than-sentimental story about reading bedtime stories to her daughter. Never afraid to tell it like it is, Karen wonders how a book could possibly have no author, why they don't make 'em like they used to, and gives herself credit for an important mommy milestone: being able to read princess stories to her daughter while her mind wanders to a land far, far away.
Okay, so you know how kids have milestones? The first time they walk. The first time they talk. The first time they insist on putting on their shoes without any help (for the love of god, child, they’re Velcro!!! The stuff accidentally sticks to like everything in the entire universe, so how f’ing long can it take you to put them on?!!!). But I digress. I’m very good at digressing. Like in high school, I was voted most likely to digress. Not really, but only because that wasn’t a category. But I digress. See?
Anyway, did you know that parents have milestones, too? Like the first time you’re able to talk to another mom at Gymboree because you finally realize your firstborn isn’t made of glass and won’t shatter into a thousand pieces if he or she falls. Or the milestone I recently achieved: being able to read to your kid and think of something entirely different at the same time. Like chocolate or wine or chocolate or wine.
So tonight Zoey wanted me to put her to bed.
Reeeeally? Are you sure you don’t want Daddy to do it? Because I could see what she was holding in her hand. A book called 5-MINUTE PRINCESS STORIES.
Plus, the stories couldn’t be stoopider (see what I did there?). I mean like one of them is about how Prince Charming bought Cinderella a fur coat. I shit you not, this is a real plot. What happened to the awesome books we read when we were kids? CORDUROY, CAPS FOR SALE, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, the Sweet Valley High series? Oh, wait, not that last one.
Anyways, back to Zoey beggggging me to put her to sleep because I’m her favorite parent and the one she loves most (this hour). So as I sat there in her bed tonight, trying to remind myself that we were bonding and that I shouldn’t pull a double Van Gogh and cut off my ears, suddenly I was reading: “The End.” What??!!! The End? I’m at the end of the stupid princess story already? WTF just happened? It’s like when you drive somewhere and you get to your destination and you’re like, holy crap I don’t remember driving here at all. Like was I even looking at the road that whole time? Same thing. I just read an entire story, like every single word, and I didn’t pay attention to a single one of them. Seriously, I spent the past 10 minutes thinking about what I was going to munch on during “Downton Abbey” tonight.
I know it’s totally lame to pat yourself on the back, but screw it. I’m patting myself on the back for this new skill I’ve developed. I mean I’ll pay attention when she lets me read her Seuss or Silverstein or Sendak, but 5-MINUTE PRINCESS STORIES doesn’t even have an author. How is that possible? I mean SOMEONE had to write the words, right? Or did this book, like, spontaneously appear, like the Big Bang Theory? BOOOOOM, and suddenly 5-MINUTE PRINCESS STORIES appeared out of thin air to torture parents everywhere.