Yesterday evening, sis and her hubby brought Rami over to hang with is auntie for a while. As they walked in the door, his mom handed me a dictionary-sized book on which I saw familiar words on the cover. It's a book I'd never seen before. "What's this?" I asked, flipping through The Complete Adventures of Curious George. "It's your nephew's new favorite book!" They'd come from Edward McKay, Rami's favorite bookstore. Smart kid. There's very little better than a huge used bookstore that plays fun music and is filled with bustling crowds and an ever-evolving inventory available at Can't Be Beat prices!
After offering a drink of water to His Highness's specifications, ("I would prefer the blue lid!" he declared, when he saw his options teasing him from the back of the cabinet,) we settled into a chair and he asked me to read Curious George Rides a Bike. Naturally. So I did, for the first time being thrilled and delighted when Rami's mom suggested he read to me and he happily obliged. He read his version of the story, hitting key points most spectacularly, until we reached the page in which The Man in the Yellow Hat is about to go to work and reminds George to stay close to the house while he's gone. The little guy looked up at me, puzzled, "I don't know what happens on this page. Read it?" So I resumed reading until we took another pause to discuss, in great detail, all those newspaper boats floating down the river with ducks and frogs and butterflies and BUGS!!! in them.
My four year old nephew is going to build me my own boat this weekend. Out of wood. Because he has some wood and a hammer. So you know.
So at the end of what had turned out to be quite a long story, they were starting to think about leaving, but we were transitioning slowly. Casually. Leaving is not the smoothest part of our visits. His mom pointed out the distinctive edge Curious George Rides a Bike seems to have over all the other George stories, and asked him about it. Whassup with that particular story? Rami answered, "All the Curious George stories are my favorite!" which should have been enough, but I couldn't leave it alone. "But do you ever read the other stories? We read about his bike a lot!" Without missing a beat, my nephew, who was not really that interested in putting his coat on and heading home to bed ("I already took a nap today!") said, with suddenly-renewed enthusiasm, "I know! Why don't you read it to me again, and let's see if it's my favorite!"
I have yet to be able to conjure a single recollection of ever having been such a fine negotiator as this kid has already evolved into.
The best treat of all? Although I had to pack him into his coat and send him on his way with four to seven hugs and kisses, it's not for long. After work today, I get to pick him up from school. We have a date tonight. I cannot wait.