Last month there was a book fair at R’s school. The day of the book fair, the students browsed through the books and made a wish list of the ones they wanted. R had a wish list of 10 books. Call me a terrible horrible very bad mother, but I wasn’t going to buy him 10 books. I agreed to buy one book from his wish list. If he wanted the other books, I would gladly take him to a big building where they have lots and lots of books…it’s called the library. After perusing the bookshelves, R found the one book he wanted.
He wanted the Scholastic Book of World Records 2010. What is it about world records that is so fascinating to kids? I remember once when I was a kid, I wasn’t invited to a wedding so instead I tried to break the world record for teeter-tottering. Oh wait, that wasn’t me – that was an episode of the Brady Bunch. Anyway, I persuaded R to pick a different book because, honestly, I didn’t want to shell out $10.99 for a book that by next year would be as out of date as my computer, cellphone and the cast of Jersey Shore.
A few weeks after the book fair, R checked out Scholastic Book of World Records 2010 from the school library.When he brought it home he was very excited and couldn’t wait to read it…to me. I don’t know why he thought I would enjoy the Scholastic Book of World Records 2010. Maybe because when I was a kid I almost broke the world record for teeter-tottering. Oh, riiight…that was Cindy Brady, not me. Anyway, we sat down and R read the Scholastic Book of World Records 2010 to me. I must admit, it was more interesting than I had expected and I was surprised at some of the facts I learned. For instance, I learned that the country with the highest Internet usage is Iceland. Iceland? Who’da thunk it? I also learned that the world’s largest cookie factory is right here in Illinois. How could I have lived here my whole life and not known that the Nabisco factory in Chicago is the world’s largest cookie factory? No worries, I shall now spend all of my free time camped outside the Nabisco factory trying to score free cookies. Anyway, when we got to the sports section of the world records book, things got even more interesting.
R (reading): The MLB player with the most home runs is Barry Bonds.
Me: Not really…….
Then I had a lovely talk about steroids and cheating with my 7-year-old.
R: The MLB player with the most MVP awards in the NL is Barry Bonds. He cheated a lot!
Me: Yes he did.
R: The MLB player with most expensive contract is Alex Rodriguez. Did he cheat?
R: The MLB player with the most Cy Young Awards is Roger Clemens. Cheated?
R: The MLB player with the most career hits is Pete Rose. Did he cheat?
Then I had a lovely talk about gambling with my 7-year-old.
R: The cyclist with the most Tour de France wins is Lance Armstrong. Did he cheat?
Me: Wellll….it’s never been proven.
R: The golfer with most major tournament wins is Jack Nicklaus.
Me: Oh look, Tiger Woods came in second.
R: Did he cheat?
Then I had a lovely talk about adultery, porn stars and disgusting text messages with my 7-year-old.
No, I’m kidding. There was no way in hell I was discussing those topics with my 7-year-old. I went with the safe answer:
Me: No, he did not cheat at golf.
R: The world’s most valuable baseball is Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball.
Me: But Mark McGwire cheated.
R: Yeah, that guy looks like he takes drugs.
Me: Honey, that’s not Mark McGwire. That’s a picture of the guy who bought the baseball.
We finished reading Scholastic Book of World Records 2010 and now I can understand why kids like this book. It was fun and educational. I was curious to see what others had to say about the book so I looked it up on Amazon.com. Amazon says, “Over the past eight years, kids, parents, and teachers have come to love this kid-friendly book.” If cheating, steroids, gambling and adultery are kid-friendly topics, then I wholeheartedly agree. I can’t wait to read the 2011 edition!