[A parenting technique nearly perfected here in The House of Joy.]
He reclined on The Mayor's bed and periodically injected, "Is that right?", "Oh!" or "Mmmm hmmmm," at just the right moments in the ongoing dialogue of the short and loud people populating the room (also known as the children.)
The Rooster invaded the bed with a stack of her brother's dinosaur encyclopedias and proceeded to "read" them to him.
Each of her readings went something like this:
"It was Christmas Eve!
There was a boy going home!
The dinosaur wanted to eat him!
The boy... THE END."
After finishing the first stack of books, she scrambled down for a fresh group.
"These dinosaur books are in French," she told her father as she climbed back up.
After babbling randomly at length, she sighed and turned to her Dad.
"I just don't know where this story is going," she said in an exasperated tone.
Then, raising her eyebrows knowingly, she added, "It's French."
(The Rooster decided long hair was too tangly and asked for a short haircut -et voilà!)