“Again?” I ask. But she brought me the book and now she is looking at me expectantly. I know I will be reading it again…now and at least two more times before dinner.
“Two chocolate tarts for two turtles…” I continue reading, she’s still invested at this point, babbling and pointing to the turtles.
The story of Pudge Pig continues with donuts and ducks, gumdrops and gophers. Pudge, the young pig temporarily in charge of his uncle’s store, manages each alliterative order. But my daughter? She’s barely able to contain her anticipation by the time the five hedgehogs order gingerbread houses – and not because the alliteration ends at five.
She acknowledges the ball the hedgehogs have floating above their tango line, but only halfheartedly.
She knows what’s coming next.
I turn the page and her babbling turns higher pitched and faster paced.
This is her favorite page!
“Six cherries in spice for six merry mice!” And she waits, just barely, for me to count the cherries and mice before the pointing and the chatter commences.
This is her favorite page.
I try to turn to the next page to read about the barrels of butterscotch for the bears, but she stops me and goes back to the cherries. I know that once again, we will not finish the book. Once again, we will not read about how Pudge is able to manage elephants’ ice cream sundaes or the cat’s candy canes. We will not read about how Pudge gets ten treats when his uncle comes back up from the basement. Because… this… is… her… FAVORITE…page.