By Megan Imhoff of IshMom
I know you’re reading Proust to your young child. You’re not raising some mouth-breathing public schooler. But are you sure Proust is appreciated? Understood?
You can read until you’re blue in the face (don’t, you know your facialist is booked the rest of the month), but your precious little will never get in that trendy preschool without a rich understanding of the twentieth century’s greatest novelist.
Let’s get to work! Those Toddler Rorschact/What Sex and the City Character Are You/Preschool Readiness tests don’t score themselves.
Childhood Memories Are Overrated
Proust wrote In Search of Lost Time as a way to mediate on the purpose and construction of memory. It’s important that your terrific tinies are as confused on the nature of memory as Proust apparently was. How else will Odette appreciate the lack of plot in the most important book that was ever written?
To ensure that reality remains unclear and vaguely unsettling (and therefore Proust-esque), constantly question your idolized infinitesimal’s preferences and activities.
Do you really like Paw Patrol, Zola? Or have you been conditioned by society to like it?
Was recess fun, Salinger? Or do you remember it that way to lessen the sting of toddler alienation?
The vigilant internal examinations our queries provoke will surely lead to expanded test taking skills.
More Effective Than Western Medicine
Proust loved madeleines, especially when dipped in tea. For super serious intellectual reasons, not just because they were his favorite cake or something.
I’m sure your perfect pint-sized was as greatly impacted by the scene in which Proust’s narrator encounters a madeleine as the rest of us.
Serving Proust Smoothies will ensure Nico truly understands the gravitas of such a genre-shattering scene. To make, simply blend 17 madelines, 1 bunch kale, and black tea, until smooth.
This is literal brain food.
Proust is known for his lengthy sentences. Literary elongated observations are more appreciated when modeled in real life.
Think a couple words could describe an object or experience to your magnificent mini? Try 36. When family members attempt to add their conversational contributions, yell “comma! semi-colon!” until you can finish unhindered.
Read Proust, Know Proust, Be Proust
Ever heard the saying that one can’t know a person without walking a mile in their shoes? Well, Proust didn’t wear shoes as he floated around on tiny clouds of genius. So, encouraging your darling diminutive to emulate as many aspects of Proust’s life as possible is the next best thing.
This means new decorating projects for you! Go to Pinterest and search “pre-World War I aristocratic France.” With such a rich theme, the vision boards will practically materialize before your eyes.
Remember that Proust was a known hypochondriac, so make sure to denote a space for hot water bottles and blood letting devices in your new salon (laundry rooms didn’t exist for Proust anyway).
Try not to hover as your wonderful wee seizes social climbing opportunities on the playground or enlists in the army.
Implementing these steps will make sure that your young child understands Proust. No more play date snafus where your lovely Lilliputian confuses In The Shadow Of The Young Girls In Flower with The Guermantes Way. Thanks, Marcel!
About the Author
Megan Imhoff lives in the Midwest with her wonderful husband, two toddlers, and a bunch of corn. She’s a voracious reader and a life-long recipient of questioning looks. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram. She blogs twice a week at www.ishmom.com.