My oldest daughter Olivia is an avid reader. She's in second grade this year, but she can read a standard chapter book in less than an hour. Usually at around the forty-minute mark she throws the book down and proclaims, "I'm done!"
And I stare at her every single time. Shell shocked, every single time. "You're done? Already?"
I bought her six books through the scholastic book order at school. They came on Thursday and she finished reading them all over the weekend. I just couldn't help but think, "I just spent money on what?" I need to make even better use of our public library so my family doesn't go bankrupt from Olivia's reading habit. (Good problem to have, by the way. Very good problem.)
Two weeks ago she begged me to go to the library and get more Mandie books. Has anyone out there ever read a Mandie book?
I hope I'm not stepping on too many toes when I say I hate Mandie books. I loathe Mandie books. I despise Mandie books.
When Olivia asks me to read to her from a Mandie book I usually have to take a deep breath and repeat the mantra: "This is how you show love to Olivia. Sacrifice. Sacrifice. Sacrifice."
I try not to make comments as I'm reading. But (confession) sometimes I do.
"Why do we need to read an entire chapter about Mandie and all her friends deciding what they're going to do next?" Seriously. Every Mandie book I've ever read has two or three chapters that involves the characters sitting around talking and making plans about what they're going to do that afternoon or the next day. It's boring! I did plenty of that sitting around making plans when I was in high school, but I don't want to read about other people doing it. Boring! Boring! Boring!
The last one I read to Olivia had several chapters about Mandie planning what her cat, Snowball, was going to do next. "Well, what are we going to do with Snowball ... and where should we put Snowball while we walk outside ... and where, oh where did Snowball go? We must find him before we leave!"
I think I said it out loud, even though it was naughty of me: "Mandie, I don't care what you do with the darn cat. Just put him somewhere and get on with the story!"
Still, I yawn and snarl my way through Mandie books for my daughter's sake. And I even bring them home from the library when she asks me to.
All this sacrifice, though, has only landed me in a quandary. One of the Mandie books I brought home from the library two weeks ago has gone missing. Missing. I've torn the house apart looking for that ridiculous book, and what especially irks me is that if I can't find it, I'm going to have to PAY for it.
It would be one thing if it was a book I loved. I'd know that eventually it would turn up, and if I'd paid for it already, it would be mine. Mine! Hoorah! But no. No celebration. This is a Mandie book.
Oh well, I guess if I have to pay for it and if it turns up somewhere I can give it to someone who likes Mandie. I'm sure there are lots of you out there. Anyone wanna 'fess up? (After all my ranting and raving, you'd be a brave soul.)