Observations and arguments.

Cute (But Angry) Boy Report

The Boy walks over to pick up a hardcover book: CLICK CLACK MOO: Cows That Type, a tale of collective bargaining down on the farm by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. He walks back to me, hands me the book, and sits down, signalling he wants me to read it to him.

I open the book and begin to read. By the fifth spread he angrily shouts, slams the book shut, and yanks it out of my hands.

And then he hands it back to me, as though he wants me to start over.

I try again, improvising this time, a bit more animatedly to keep his interest up.

Again, he stops me a few pages in, hollers angrily, closes the book, wrests it from my grasp, and then hands it back to me.

Perhaps I am going too slowly. Sometimes he gets impatient when I stop too long on any one spread.

I launch into the book again, maintaining a steady pace of brisk page turns.

I barely turn the third page when he yells at me again, grabs the book, and then hands it back to me.

I hesitate, because now I’m thinking this is a test. Do I try the book again? Or transition to a new activity.

He shouts at me even louder, banging on the front cover of the book.

I start to read it to him again, and he eyes me warily as I progress. This time I am able to get farther into the book than we’ve been able to previously (to the moment when the cows’ note asks for additional electric blankets for the hens, who are also cold at night). But before I can turn another page, he once again erupts in anger, closes the book, and hands it right back to me.

At this point I have given up hope of getting this right, but I start again anyhow.

Now he is shouting at me as I turn each page, as he attempts to shut the book closed and make me start over again. Within a few more cycles he is not even giving me a chance to move past the endpapers to the title page before he decides that I need to go back to the beginning.

Finally I reach over for another book that I know he likes, and put CLICK, CLACK, MOO behind me. Time for something else.

He throws aside the new book, shoves me out of the way to pick up CLICK, CLACK, MOO, and forces it into my hands.

He glares at me. He is waiting.

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