There was a lab report due. A lab report of a wily and difficult nature, because it consisted mainly of following the directions exactly and if you diverge from them in any way it will cost you precious points off and destroy you. That kind of lab report. And Diana is, let's say, not inspired by having to follow directions exactly. Not, how would you say, gifted at it. It was a long night. A long long long long long night. And at the end, when it was 11 p.m. (!) and we were waiting to review the finished version of said lab report, it was clear that some sort of pleasant celebration was needed. A dance party was proposed. But somehow instead, my extremely brilliant husband read her a story. What is the perfect story to read to someone who has just slogged through a hellish lab report and come out the other side, bloodied but unbowed? I'll tell you what it is: "The Nose," by Nikolai Gogol. It is perfect. It brings joy. It releases stress. It saves the world.
I sort of hate the whole prescriptive nature of "You should read to your 12 year old x times per week." However. I will say that when things are bad, and it feels like there's nothing good around? Reading absurdist Russian literature with your kid might just renew your faith in the world and everything in it.