Bedtime pickle

Words: 501-600

Skills: Figurative Language

Grades: 2nd 3rd

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range: 420L - 730L

Lexile Measure: 480L

CCSS: Reading: Literature


The Bedtime Pickle

by RV Staff Writer J. C.

It’s bedtime, but Jamie isn’t ready. He tries everything to get his mom to delay it, to no avail. Finally, he comes up with a strange request that seems to have the desired result. Students will read the passage and answer questions on the details of the story and the metaphors in it.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The Bedtime Pickle

by RV Staff Writer J. C.
“Time for bed,” said Mom.

“Nooo!” said Jamie. He did not want to stop playing. He was building a garage for his toy cars with his blocks. He did not want to quit. “Not yet, Mommy.”

“Sorry, Jamie, but it’s time. You have school in the morning.”

“Five more minutes?” the little boy asked. He did not like putting his toys away. But really, does anybody?

“No, Jamie. Go get ready, please.” His mother wasn’t going to give in. Jamie sighed. Together, they picked up the cars and blocks, putting them in the bins where they belonged. The young boy climbed the stairs. He put on his favorite pajamas and brushed his teeth.

As always, his mother came up to tuck him into bed. She read him two short stories and gave him a big hug and kiss. “Just one more? Please?” asked Jamie, making his eyes big and hopeful, like a puppy’s.

“Good try,” said his mother, but she was trying not to laugh. Jamie did this every night. “I love you, sweetie. But go to sleep.” She turned on his small nightlight shaped like a moon.

As she started downstairs, Jamie called out. “I’m thirsty! Can I have a glass of water?”

She turned back and leaned into his open doorway. “What do I always say about having too much water before bed?”

“It’s a bad idea. I might need to wake up and use the bathroom,” answered Jamie. None of his usual bedtime delay plans seemed to be working.

It was a dance they went through each night at bedtime. Jamie didn’t want to go to bed: he wanted more stories; he asked for water. His mother wondered why he kept trying when he knew her answers were always the same. He needed his sleep! Her son was such a bear to wake up in the morning.

His mom kissed him one last time. Jamie listened as she went downstairs. He heard her put the kettle on for her nightly cup of tea. She liked to drink it while reading a book at night when the house was nice and quiet.

Jamie lay in his bed for a few minutes. He didn’t feel sleepy yet. Even with the nightlight, it was dark. He was lonely. He tried to think of what else he could say to get out of bed. What was something he hadn’t tried before?

“Mommy?” Jamie stood before his mom, his pajamas with the monkeys on them all rumpled. He had his old teddy bear clutched in one hand. “I have to ask you just one more thing.”

“I thought you might have gone to sleep by now. What is it, Jamie?” His mother smiled at him. She was used to the interruptions. She gazed at her little boy kindly.

“I think I need a pickle.”

His mother broke out laughing. “A pickle? That’s a new one. What am I going to do with you?” She got up and fetched a pickle out of the jar in the fridge. Then she and her son sat down together in a big, soft chair and cuddled while he ate.

It wasn’t a pickle Jamie had wanted, after all. And his mother knew it.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1.  What are two excuses Jamie used to slow down his bedtime?

2.  Why was the bedtime routine like a dance?

3.  What does it mean when Jamie’s mom says he is “such a bear to wake up in the morning”?

4.  Jamie tried to make his eyes look like a puppy's eyes. How are the puppy's eyes described in the passage?