Normally, I'm not much of a babysitter because little kids drive me crazy. But I do kinda like the little punk so I was more than willing to help out and watch her for the night. She's only 5 (soon to be 6) but she is way too smart for her own good, and I'm not just saying that because she's my cousin. When a 5 year old can tell you the difference between fiction and non-fiction you've gotta be slightly impressed.
One of the things that probably contradicts with me not being much of a babysitter, is the fact that I hate it when kids sit in front of the TV all day watching crap shows like "Sponge Bob Square Pants". Part of that I think comes from my mom only allowing my brother and I to watch a certain amount of TV growing up. The other comes from my dislike of the way people turn the TV on and glue their kids to it so they don't have to deal with them. To me that's completely irresponsible, you should never treat your kid like they're an inconvenience otherwise why did you even have them in the first place? Obviously, that's something I feel rather strongly about.
Back to what I was saying, I was trying to figure out a way to keep her occupied so she didn't get bored and start acting up, when I remembered I used to love having Shel Silverstein's books read to me at her age.
So, I grabbed Where the Sidewalk Ends off my bookshelf and we flopped down on my bed and started reading. We made it halfway through the book before JT (that's our nickname for her) would let me stop reading, and that was only because I told her I needed to put dinner in the oven. I was amazed at how much she loved the book, I expected her to like it but I didn't think she would love it as much as she did. As I was getting dinner ready she kept bugging me to go back upstairs and keep reading, so as soon as I had everything in the oven we ran back upstairs and read some more, periodically breaking to check on dinner.
After we were finished with Where the Sidewalk Ends she pointed to another book on my shelf wanting me to read that one. I pulled the book down and almost told her no, we couldn't read this one because it would be too hard for her to follow, but I stopped myself. The book she wanted me to read is called Bone by Jeff Smith.
The story, told in graphic novel form, is an epic tale about an unlikely hero's journey to save his friends and family from a dark evil trying to take over their homeland. It's one of my favorite books because you can't help but fall in love with the main character and his story.
The only problem was, because JT was just learning how to read, she would have a hard time following along with the dialogue and the pictures. So I figured, maybe if I pointed to each panel and the character as I read what they were saying, she might be able to follow along that way. Apparently it worked because every time I asked her if she wanted me to stop reading she said no. I think what helped too was that I came up with voices for each character. Normally, I would have felt silly doing something like that, especially if there had been other adults around, but she really liked it so I'm glad I did it.
Finally, after almost 3 hours of straight reading we had to stop because I was starting to lose my voice and dinner was about ready. So we ate dinner and hung out some more, while I was checking my email and she noticed the icon on my Mac for Photobooth and she asked me if that's for taking pictures. I told her it was and she immediately demanded we take some pictures together. That's how we got these gems:
Peace out sucka's it's bed time.
Granted, I'm under no illusion that she's a perfect little angel. As a matter of fact, she can be a total brat sometimes. And being an only child she tends to be whiny a lot of the time, like most only children are at that age. But when it's just her and I, we have fun and she can be completely adorable.