The other day, The Princess was coloring a picture from The Nutcracker. It was a man in Chinese silk pajamas that she was coloring red with a big fat crayon.
“Who’s that girl?” Clooney asked.
“That’s not a girl,” The Princess corrected him. “It’s a boy.”
“It can’t be a boy,” Clooney protested. “Boys don’t do ballet.”
They got into an argument, which, they naturally brought to me for judgement. My ruling was that Clooney was being sexist.
“Cool,” he said smiling at his sister. “I’m sexiest.”
And I had to explain to him that sexist and sexiest are not the same thing at all. (And by the way, how does an eight-year-old even know what “sexiest” is??)
So, any way, speaking if sexist (not sexiest) I had been waiting a long time to be able to read the Madeline books to The Princess. At first she wasn’t into them, so we never really got through the story. Then the other night, I tried again, and we made it all the way through the first one. She liked it okay, but here’s the thing: Clooney loved it. Not only did he love it, but the next night, after he had fallen asleep, and I went to tuck him in, the Madeline book was lying by his bed. He had read it again on his own.
It never occurred to me to feed the Madeline books to my son. Sexist, right? So I bought one of the sequels, Madeline’s Rescue, and when I read it to them, he laughed and laughed like the end was the funniest thing he’s ever heard. Last night, he finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which he’d been working on since right before Thanksgiving. And when I went to tuck him in, after he’d fallen asleep, I found Madeline’s Rescue on top of the Rowling.