When my older boys were little, our favorite read-aloud was Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks. My goal was to read it error-free; their goal was to catch my error. These sessions were great fun for all, the boys on the edge of their seats waiting to buzz me when I got tangled on the words. It was always there among the three cheese trees, Bim and Ben’s brooms, the tweetle beetles, or Sue’s new socks – that one little slip that would blow my perfect reading. Somewhere along the way I got sentimental and put away the book. It was from a set my mother had bought me as a small child, with her handwritten inscription and date (late ’60’s) in the front cover, and it was getting fragile. Why I never got another copy, I don’t know.

We bought new toothbrushes and toothpaste a couple of months ago which included a mail-in book offer. One of the choices was Fox in Socks and today it arrived in the mail. I don’t think the other kids realized just why this was such a big deal to my fifteen-year-old son and I, although my five-year-old seemed awfully excited. After lunch we sat down for the big read-aloud. Mistake #1 occurred within the first few pages, so I started over (hey, I’m still working towards that perfect reading). Reading #2 was near the end when I inserted a “sir” that wasn’t there. Good grief – not even a tongue-twister! We didn’t get much further because at that time all the kids squealed and I turned to see Lily standing at the end of the couch, vomiting her lunch (spaghetti, an unfortunate choice) on the floor. With the carpet cleaning and bath that followed, the book was shelved. Literally.

I’m excited to introduce our all-time favorite read-aloud to my newest crop of kids. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll post about that elusive perfect reading. Stay tuned.

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