How to Write a Book (According to a Preschooler)

Last week I was hanging laundry in the basement. We moved into this place in Iowa (have I mentioned this? We live in Iowa now) before we’d ever seen it and the woman who brokered the deal said it had a laundry room, so I naturally assumed it had a washer and dryer. But apparently that was a terrible assumption. Actually, it was duplicitous brokering, if you ask me, bordering on Orwellian double-speak. That may be an exaggeration. Anyway, one of my upstanding coworkers gave us a washing machine that’d been in his garage for some time. So now we do wash, hang the clothes across four separate lines in our laundry room, and wear our stiff jeans like we’re European. It’s not so bad really.

So I was hanging laundry and Eden was in the next room playing with Legos and she said:


“I’m making a book, Daddy. Just like you made a book.”

“Cool,” I said. I played it calm and collected, I don’t know that I’d ever felt prouder about being a parent. Which, it occurs to me, is probably selfish on some level. “How’s it coming?”

“It’s good,” she said. I clothespinned some toddler pants. Toddler clothes take up way more space on drying lines than they do anywhere else.

“I’m making a book, too,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. “How’s it going?”

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“Well,” I said, “pretty slow, I guess.”

“When are you going to be done?” she asked.

“I’m hoping to be done this summer, but we’ll see,” I said.

“Why don’t you finish it in the spring?” she asked.

“Good question,” I said. And it was. Sometimes preschoolers have the coldest, most brilliant logic on the planet. “Books just take a while. I’m just having trouble finishing it.”

“You just have to write it every day, Dad,” she said. Then she went back to the Legos.

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Best advice ever? Likely.

(It reads: Eden Lily Eden Eden Lily Eden. Lily is her first real BFF. They go to preschool together and see each other nearly every day whether school’s in session or not. And I think they must be learning about patterns because according to my literary analysis she’s working in ABA ABA form.)

3 thoughts on “How to Write a Book (According to a Preschooler)

  1. Congratulations on your new teaching post. I hope you enjoy all the moments – even grading – which I always found less than joyful – My love to you and Sarah and your awesome children.

  2. Pingback: Final Draft(s) | Luke Hawley

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