The kid's learning to read. Independent reading is great because the parent gets to see what the child really wants, as opposed to what they've been putting up with while you've done the selecting. What it turns out that my kid really likes is joke books. One in particular, Piggy Riddles, employs horrible swine-related groaners in the punchline. (Ex. - How can you tell when a pig likes a rollercoaster? She gives it her squeal of approval.) This sort of humor has the kid rolling on the floor. Now everything is a pig joke around the house. The latest (spinning out of a breakfast discussion of the relative
body masses of various countries) is the phrase "Hamericans." I think this is a pretty good one and urge everyone to adopt it whenever a critique of our national mania for conspicuous consumption seems in order.