Teaching My Baby To Read

T.S. Eliot is one of my all-time favorite poets, but I had never heard of him until tenth or eleventh grade. I remember thinking at the time, “Wouldn’t it have been cool if I had read Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (Harvest Book)
when I was a kid?” Well, now’s my chance to give that experience to my children. Jenna(2.5) is not very interested, but Bruce(7) is willing to read about one cat a night. I’ve also caught Bruce reading Old Possum by himself, so I know that Eliot has caught his interest. Since we’ve joked that Bruce is like the Rum Tum Tugger, this shouldn’t surprise you.

Of course, now comes the strange part. I still need to explain to Bruce that our little book of cat poems has come to life in one of the most famous musicals of all times, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love Andrew Lloyd Webber. In fact, last year for our anniversary my husband and I saw Love Never Dies in London and actually saw Andrew Lloyd Webber from a distance, crossing the street. It was right before the entire cast left for Australia, and he was there checking their performance one last time. But going from reading funny cat poems with my seven-year-old in his room, to watching full grown adults dressed up like felines and belting out show tunes is pretty surreal.

I guess now I need to have a conversation with Bruce where I try to explain the 1980s…

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