Although Claire enjoys snuggling together for a bedtime story, she also likes to mix it up sometimes. She likes to add an element of pretend drama to story time.
Her latest idea along these lines is Tuesday Night Book Club. Instead of reading a book in bed together, we pretend it is story time at Austin Public Library. I sit in a chair and read a story (currently Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary) while Claire sits on the floor and listens. She becomes a girl named Sally who was dropped off at the library for story time. Actually, Claire calls it “book club” since that sounds more grown up. I act the part of the story reader and say stuff like, “Thanks for coming out to the book club tonight, kids,” at the beginning and “Looks like your parents are here to pick you up” at the end. Claire encourages me to ask questions about the book. For example, “Why does Henry not want Scooter to know that Ribsy picked up all the newspapers on Klickitat Street?” Then Sally (Claire) raises her hand to answer the question. Claire uses her official public / school voice while answering the question. “Um, he doesn’t want to lose the paper route while Scooter is on summer vacation. He want to earn a dollar for his bike fund.” Claire asks that I put a blanket over my lap to make it more sleepy. Then the “parents” come for pickup, and it’s off to bed. It really does put a fresh new twist on bedtime stories.