I knew someday I would find a novel that would suck pH into the flashlight-under-the-covers phase of reading development. As it turns out, it’s a chapter book about octuplets whose parents have disappeared. pH is horrified at the idea of parents disappearing, which considering the pre-bath but post-TV “No, you may not watch another show” tantrum earlier in the evening, makes me feel a little better about my parenting skills.

“But I don’t want you to disappear!” she wailed.

“I’m not disappearing. This is just a story. Having the parents disappear is the call to action, the inciting incident. The thing that gets the characters in the story to go forth and to do things. It’s just the way stories are written. Something has to happen [or else we call it Waiting for Godot].”

“I hate that!”

“It’s the foundation of fiction. The very basics of literature.”

“And if you think it sucks now,” kH said, standing up, “Just wait until you get to college.”

Then we did our in-sync evil genius laugh, the one pH hates.

**

Sometimes parenting is really fun.