October 2011


Outdone by the Cat

I feel like sharing a piece a wrote awhile back.

Raising A Reader

It was one of those days when I was scrambling to make dinner. We had to eat and dash out the door almost as soon as my older two kids came home from school. My youngest daughter picked that moment to ask me to listen to her read. Being four and in Kindergarten, she was at that wonderful stage where she loved to be read to, but she also loved to “read” to me.  She’d grab a book and make up the story. I’d already heard a couple renditions of the book earlier that day and I just couldn’t stop for another.

“I’m busy right now,” I said. “We’ll read some more tonight, okay?”

She gave me her best “Fine, you don’t love me!” and went stomping off.

Ouch. I wished I could make her understand why I had no time to listen right then, but my attention was needed at the now boiling pot on the stove so I rushed on with dinner.

Not too long afterwards I realized that I could hear my daughter’s voice coming from the laundry room. What was she up to?


I walked quietly over to the closed laundry room door and listened. She was definitely talking, but there was no one else in the house at the moment. Was she talking to herself with that much energy?

Puzzled, I opened the door and peeked in. There she was, sitting on a stool with a book in her lap. And there was our cat, Marshmellow, sitting at my daughter’s feet and purring.

“Hey, what are you up to, sweetie?” I asked.

She looked at me like I must be dense for not grasping the obvious. “Reading to Marshmellow,” she replied, and then she smiled.

I looked at Marshmellow, sitting up with her ears pointed towards my daughter, giving her her full attention.

It was my turn to smile. I’d been outdone by the cat. But at that moment, my daughter couldn’t have asked for a better audience.

And for that, I couldn’t have been more grateful.

So thank you, Marshmellow. You will be missed.

© Lizann Flatt, www.lizannflatt.com
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