Dressing like a Dick

Some months ago, my mother (aka "grandma" to my boys) gave the eldest son a book. Not just any book. And not a story book. It's this book, to be precise:

We were at a time in his life when he would sit down and listen to maybe three minutes of stories, so this book (at well over 100 pages) was really quite out of the question. Also, it's a reading book of international reknown (and one I did not grow up with), so it's a little light on the plot, if you know what I mean.

To be fair, I didn't give it enough credit. It's not really, "See Dick Run. Run, Dick, run!", but it's pretty darn close. Chapter one of book one (the most rudimentary reading level) involves looking and seeing things:
"Oh, see.
See, see.
See, Dick.
Oh, oh, oh."

Luckily, upon graduation from this reading level, the stories get a little better and the vocabulary deepens (though not a whole lot). And the characters, to my surprise, were very well illustrated and almost likeable in their metamorphoses from young lads and lassies to ...well, older lads and lassies. Mother, Father, Dick, Jane, and Baby Sally all grow (and change clothes) as one progresses through the three levels of reading. That goes for Spot (dog), Puff (cat) and Tim (teddy bear) as well, though they don't change all that much.

The point (you knew I'd get to it eventually) is this: my son has taken a real liking to Dick and Jane. So much so that he requests it ("readickanjane, readickanjane!") morning, noon and night. I think he's developing quite a friendship with the little scamps. And because I'm no moron, I'm starting to use Dick to bend the toddler to my will. Behold the weapon:

Just look at him: Happy-go-lucky in his short pants and blue socks (I have got to try that look out someday). He's ready for life's little challenges. Lost balls under hedges, a sister who ritually falls out of wagons, a hellion of a dog (but a good ball-finder), a clever cat who stows away in moving vehicles on family trips, and a baby sister who has no name for one whole book (Sally, eventually). He seems innocuous enough. Little did he know the power he wields.

Scene: It's Thursday morning and the Toddler is to attend Daycare. Time's ticking away and Daddy (me) has to get to work after dropping off said toddler at said place of daycare.

Daddy: Why don't you put your pants on?
Toddler: No.
D: Please? [note: this predates the discovery of the New Way]
T: No.
D [lightbulb illuminating]: [opening book] Hey, look! Dick has pants on.
T: Yeah!
D: What colour are Dick's pants?
T: Brown!
D: Do you want to put on pants just like Dick?
T: YEAH!!!! (I would have expected "hell yeah!" had I taught him that yet.)

This continued with the socks, the shirt, and probably even the shoes. From now on, we get dressed just like Dick (though colours and pant length is variable).

Dick? If you're out there somewhere... I owe you big.

Posted bythemikestand at 2:54 PM  

2 stepped up to the mike:

Jessica said... 1:27 PM, April 19, 2006  

Dick might have lent a helping hand but it was dad's quick thinking that deserves kudos.

gingajoy said... 12:42 PM, April 20, 2006  

i feel your pain, mike. i think i;'ve mentioned before that I go to extraordinary lengths to avoid having to read Thomas or Babar. I think Dick and Jane would sersiouly put me over the edge.

great post!

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