"Sit, Book, Read" The Demands of A Real Man With A MiniVan

I am very happy to introduce you to Mr. PJ Mullen of Real Men Drive Minivans. Even though we may not agree on wheels, PJ is probably one of the smartest bloggers I know and one of the first guys I go to when I'm in doubt about something ("Why I Hate Mommy Bloggers" wouldn't have made it to the internet without PJ's thumbs up). Besides being smart, PJ has a great family with wife son and baby on the way (and he can tell some touching stories). But the thing that PJ does better than anyone I know is cooking fearlessly. (Chocolate pasta with pork ragout anyone? Go get the recipe, people.) I'm sure you'll enjoy this guest post about PJ's son

"Sit, Book, Read"

My son loves his books. Over the past two years he has accumulated a rather extensive collection with a heavy emphasis on the works of Dr. Suess. Not a day goes by where I don't read "Green Eggs and Ham" at least once.

We have been reading to him since he was only a few weeks old, as we had read things about its benefits even very early on. Plus, it gave us something to do and, occasionally, to keep us awake. Initially we would read to him sporadically, but by the time he was six months old it became a regular thing before naps and bedtime to help establish a routine.

It has gotten to the point where if he isn't playing with his blocks or magna doodle, then he is sitting on my lap as I read another book to him. Sometimes I can spend half of my day reading a seemingly endless number of books to him.

As a parent his interest in reading thrills me to no end and I am more than happy to indulge his curiosities. With each time I read a particular book he picks up new things, points out letters, repeats words after me and even tells me the characters names.

Recently, however, he has become a little demanding as his ever growing verbal skills have enabled him to begin to express himself. No matter what I'm doing at any given moment I am expected to be obey his every command. Book in hand, he confidently strides up to me and without hesitation delivers the following instructions:

"Papa. Sit. Book. Read."

Excuse me?

Since I obviously did not understand the words coming out of his mouth, he repeats himself, this time with greater emphasis.


The only problem with this situation is that his demands are increasing in regularity so much so that anything but strict compliance results in a meltdown. Any attempt I make to put whatever book he is thrusting in my face aside so I can finish whatever it is I'm doing, be it cleaning, fixing him a snack or attempting to go to the bathroom is met with great consternation.

In some way I guess I should be encouraged as this series of words could be the making of his first actual sentence. While the construction is slightly flawed, the intent to communicate in a logical fashion is definitely there.

Still, I can't help but think that maybe we erred when we named our son. Given his current disposition and complete inability to compromise I'm thinking that we should have called him Commodus.

If you really think about it there really is little difference between a toddler and an emperor. Neither one can be easily influenced once they have made up their minds and their servants can only hope that they rule benevolently.

And so, like General Maximus, I continue to bend to the the wishes of my little ruler, reading "There's a Wocket In My Pocket" for the thirtieth time this week. As the story concludes and he wanders off to find his next conquest I can only sit back and wonder:



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