The new thing going on tonight – and for that matter all week – is that my thirteen-year-old is reading me a book at bedtime: Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur. My favourite part of the reading is when she periodically stops and says, “Isn’t it good? Isn’t it great?” It is and it is. We highly recommend it. Here is an excerpt:
Immediately after Jacob Two-Two’s parents flew off to Kenya, Aunt Good-For-You opened all the windows to clear the house of the foul smell of Daddy’s cigars. Then she went on a tour of inspection. She took down Daniel’s Sports Illustrated bathing beauty calendar, saying it was bad for him, and she did the same with Emma’s poster of Robert Redford, saying it was no good for her. Noah was told he couldn’t play his David Bowie records, which were bad for him, and Marfa was made to do without her red nail polish, which was no good for her. They weren’t allowed to watch just about everything on TV, because it was too violent. Or read lying down, because it was bad for their eyes. Or eat standing up, because it was no good for their digestion. But the very first night in the house she did promise to read aloud to Jacob Two-Two before he went to sleep. Aunt Good-For-You had brought along the first volume of the Britannica Junior Enclyclopedia. “Tonight,” she said, “we will begin with the letter A.”
I’ve been making up or reading bedtime stories to kids since I started babysitting when I was twelve years old. It’s nice to be the recipient for a change. Okay, it’s bed-time: time for the next installment. Here’s a painting of Aunt Good-For-You with her umbrella and hot water bottle.