I don’t know what it is about Little Red Riding Hood, but when I get halfway through the story, I can hardly keep my eyes open. Doesn’t matter if I’m tired or not when I start to read this book, because when I get to the part where Little Red strays off the path, and goes into the meadow to pick wildflowers for her Grandmother, and I see the sun beaming through the trees, and she just picks and picks those flowers, and just doesn’t know when to stop — it’s all I can take.
The bad part is, this is a critical part in the story. Poor old Grandma, at this very minute, is actually being eaten by the wolf… WHOLE. Thankfully, we learn later when the huntsman splits the wolf’s stomach open, there is not a scratch on her. Even though the wolf did have those “what big teeth you have” teeth.
Why? Why of all times, do I want to sleep at this point in the story? Poor Grandma. Little Red Riding Hood is not like War and Peace, so why sleep?
One day, it was just me and the little guy, and we were all cozy on the sofa with a stack of books, and we were plowing through them quite well — until — until we got to Little Red. I started nodding off in mid-sentence. Painful, it was, just to keep my eyes open, but I soon found, I had no control over my eyelids. Finally I said, “Sweetie, Mommy is just so tired. Can we just take a quick little nap right here, and then I’ll finish the book when we wake up?”
“OK,” he said. I figured, he wouldn’t sleep, but would soon climb off the couch and quietly amuse himself with the train that was winding its way around the coffee table and sofa on the floor.
He surprised me. He stayed right with me, on the sofa, patting my head every once in awhile, and he just waited. Never said a word. Who knows how long I slept. Ten, maybe 15 minutes? I woke to find him still beside me, patiently waiting. Resisting the urge to drop my head and sleep some more, I picked up right where we left off, and finished the story, describing his favorite part — when the huntsman carries the skinned wolf skin away on his back, while Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood drink blackberry tea, and eat bread and honey, on the table with the vase of flowers Little Red Riding Hood picked in the meadow.