Reading: Young Ladrinka is Against It

by Marinka on July 20, 2010

Last night Young Ladrinka drove me straight to a gin and tonic.

I am a pretty easy going parent, but I have some rules. And one of those rules is that the kids have to read.  Every single day except for those days that I just don’t have the energy to fight with them about it.  Usually, they get it.  My daughter went through a Period of Resistance, but now she’s a solid reader, and will, at times, even pick up a book of her own accord.

But Young Ladrinka puts up a fight.

Last night, he had three books to choose from:  Heat,  The Chocolate Touch and Loser.  (I picked these books out for him, and OMG, the titles are so telling about my personality.)

Young Ladrinka: I don’t like any of these books.

Marinka: Why not?

YL:  Well, Heat, has like the smallest type ever and every chapter is ten pages.  It goes on forever and it’s really boring and I hate it.

Marinka:  What about The Chocolate Guy?

YL:  It’s Chocolate TOUCH, MOM!  That’s a problem because most of my friends read it last year, so I already know what happens in it, so there’s like no point in reading it.

Marinka: The point is that you will enjoy it.

YL:  That makes no sense.  How will I enjoy it if I already know what happens? I enjoyed hearing about it, but I don’t want to read it.

Marinka: What about Loser?

YL:  Well, Your Beautiful Daughter was reading it and I don’t think that a book that a 12 year old reads is appropriate for me.

Marinka: I think it’s fine.

YL :  I don’t.

Marinka:  Read it.


3 seconds later.

YL: Done!

Marinka:  How much did you read?

YL:   One chapter.

Marinka: How many pages?

YL:  Two.  What? That’s our rule! One chapter.

Marinka: Not if they’re so short, obviously.


Marinka:  What was the chapter about?

YL: I don’t remember.  It’s not my fault, I have a terrible memory.

Marinka: You remember everything. All that Pokemon stuff and David Wright’s stats-

YL:  That’s because I look it up right before I tell you the stats.

Marinka: No, you don’t.

YL: Yes, I do. I think I know what I do.

Marinka:  Let me make this simple for you.   Either you read, or you’re not watching the Mets tonight.

YL:  That’s SO UNFAIR.

Marinka:  It is fair.  I’m not asking for a lot.  I’m just asking that you read.  READ.  Reading is more important than baseball.

YL:  So you’re saying that if I’m a professional baseball player, I’ll have to do my reading before I can play?  Like “oh, my mom says I can’t pitch tonight, team, I have to read my book.”

Marinka:  Something like that.

YL:  That’s so embarrassing.  That doesn’t even make sense.

Marinka:  Please read another chapter of Loser.

YL: I’m not going to like it.

Marinka: Neither am I.

He kills me.  I’m glad that the Mets lost that night.

One year ago ...

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

anna see July 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Aargh. My son has read one teeny tiny book this summer. I feel like strangling him.


July 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Have you tried non-fiction? Boys who are reluctant to read tend to prefer that. Guiness Book of World Records, things of that nature…


dusty earth mother July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Oh, I’m so looking forward to those days of full-on torturous conversations with my children. I can barely handle what I have now. Particularly loved the drama of “Oh, if I’m a professional baseball player you’re going to make me read before I play?”


Gretchen July 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Okay, this is making me feel SO much better. Because my son is SO the same. It just drives me crazy. I’m so sick of deal making and bargaining for reading time. Argh!


Sophie@Fabrications July 21, 2010 at 4:49 am

You are right, Marinka. Reading is super-important. I hope it’ll be easy for us to convince junior to read when he comes of age. Right now he’s the one who makes US read to him a dozen books a day. I swear to you, my hubby is dyslexic and can still read the entire cat in the hat from memory.


A Mom on Spin July 21, 2010 at 7:26 am

give him Ulysses next. . .


I'm Nate's Mom July 21, 2010 at 9:18 am

Maybe let him read the sports page, and he can learn why he should be a Yankee fan . . .


July 21, 2010 at 9:40 am

Just wait until he finds out about ESPN sports blogs


July 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

I had my 10yr old read this because it sounds exactly like her! Her response……lol, he is hilarious.


Allyson July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

Clearly the reading has had some impact since he’s intelligent enough to like the Mets rather than the Yankees.


Joie July 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I LOVE reading…it’s sick how much I read sometimes I think!

I have made comments to friends that I read every night before I go to bed…it’s my way to relax. I freak out if I don’t have a book or have finished one before I am ready to actually fall asleep. Their comment? I don’t read (?), and I don’t have time for that. This from a girl that has no children. No time to read?! Guffaw!

I wonder what my child will be like someday…I might have to use your bribing skills. 🙂


July 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm

my son has already talked about comics {or “graphic novels” to the comic geeks}. maybe young ladrinka would prefer that. growing up i read/loved katy keene. take care.


Crisanna July 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Ah, now all the rumors that the Mets threw the game to teach a kid about literacy finally make sense!


Amy July 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

One of the most wonderful things I ever did with my children was read to/with them … even when they were old enough to read to themselves … even when they were in middle school. We read together and we laughed and cried and talked about the stories when we weren’t reading. Jerry Spinelli has to be read aloud to really be appreciated. If he doesn’t want to read Loser, you might try reading Maniac Magee (same kind of story, but maybe Big Sis hasn’t read it yet). Or any of Judy Blume’s Fudge novels.


Becky Mochaface July 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

That’s such a fantastic idea. I may just have to make my kids read every day. I mean the hypothetical ones that I’ll have someday.


deborah quinn
July 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

We’ve um “incentivized” our reading here, in two different ways, which is to say we’re making Son #1’s greed work for us: he REALLY DESPERATELY MUST HAVE a lego set that costs beaucoup $$. So he has to fill up his reading notebook with four or five sentences about each book he reads this summer and we worked out what books are “appropriate,” blah blah. It sort of works. But the other thing we’ve done, particularly during this steamy freakish mid-jungle heat, is pull a Hannibal Lecter: quid pro quo, laddy, quid pro quo: you want an hour of screen time? Give us an hour with a book (and then be able to tell us what happens). It’s vicious but screw it. I’ve started a therapy account for him; he can whine about it to his shrink when he’s older.


joeinvegas July 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Very good idea. Our Granddaughter E (just turned 5) loves to read, but the books have to have more pictures than text.


Amy July 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm

“Oh, if I’m a professional baseball player you’re going to make me read before I play?”

No, by that time I’m going to be living it up in the villa in Spain that you bought me with the money you saved by actually reading the contract before you signed on to play.

You see sometimes reading things you don’t enjoy makes sense. Just to see if you can understand them.


July 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

This sounds like my son! He loves to read but never chooses anything challenging. I had to ban Calvin & Hobbes for a few months. He actually has two required reading assignments due in the fall. I’m dreading the trip to the Library to pick out a book.


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