With both mom and dad working in most households, routine-parenting tasks are no longer the woman’s forte – be it getting the kids ready to school, drop off and pick-up from school, following up on their homework, putting them to bed and so on and so forth. Like most couples, we too follow certain ground rules of routine jobs – the “Good cop- Bad cop” rule while disciplining Abhay; or the “Early Bird in the evening gets to check on Abhay’s homework” rule or the “Homework helper is exempted from the bedtime routine” rule that is most often overruled by “Winding up of kitchen entails an exemption from the bedtime routine”….so no prizes for guessing that it is my husband who most often ends up with Abhay’s bedtime business, with an exception made for a special bedtime book that I may want to read to him! The only problem being that both my boys (yes….you read it right!) do everything there is to do under the moon but go to bed! So as the daddy finishes reading the bedtime book, I expect the voices to die down into a total silence from the room upstairs, but instead I hear them giggle and guffaw at their own private joke or pretend play that I am not and cannot be a part of! It is only after repeated reminders of how it is way past time Abhay’s bedtime and warnings of the consequences of a late night for Abhay that the boys do finally go to bed! Hmph! …..boys will always be boys!
So imagine my surprise when we found the above situation mirrored in a book titled “Mr. Beast” by James Sage and illustrated by Russel Ayto that the boys ( it was a working Saturday for me!) found at Hippocampus. A hilarious account of nighttime banter between a father-son duo, this one is definitely worth a read by the daddy himself! Charlie loved monsters as much his mother’s sugared doughnuts and so his mother asks him to fetch the larger frying pan lying in their garage, supposedly belonging to Mr. Beast. Mr. Beast lets him have the frying pan with a condition that the same must returned with a brimful of sugared doughnuts. Just as Charlie lugs back the pan to its designated place, carrying a batch of doughnuts meant for Mr. Beast, Charlie gets greedy and finishes off even the last one left! So naturally Mr. Beast is angry and threatens to eat him up at night! At bedtime, Charlie is all ready and waiting for Mr. Beast who Charlie believes is clambering up the creeper, clattering about the roof, sliding down the chimney and stomping down the hall to thrust open the door as Charlie is shown to be eagerly waiting for him! As the suspense continues, you cant help but notice that Charlie is all smiles and goes along in the pretend play with Mr. Beast who is none other than his very own daddy! The father-son pretend play wakes up Charlie’s mommy who in turn hauls up the daddy for all the silliness that has gone way beyond Charlie’s bedtime with strict instructions to go to sleep without any delay! So the boys promise to be as good as gold and are shown heading to bed…..but only for a moment until they get back to their beastly ways! So if your boys give you trouble during bedtime….bring home Mr. Beast!