When the kids were really little, I worried that I wasn’t reading to them enough. M and I both love to read, and I was an especially big bookworm as a child. We definitely wish the same thing for our kids, even if it means too many batteries for the flashlight when they’re reading past their bedtime again. But when they were, oh, eight weeks old, and someone in one of my new moms classes claimed that their child “loved books,” I about died. Crap, now I have to find time to read to them, too?! In those crazy, survival days of the first few months, it was pretty low on my list. But I felt guilty. What if I don’t read to them enough, and then they don’t love books? Yeah. Whatever.
Eventually we started reading more. We worked it into our routine, they started to actually smile and laugh and enjoy it. By 11 or so months old, you could find Rebecca sitting on the floor next to the shelves in the playroom. She’d pull one book after another out of her shelves, and carefully flip through the pages of each one. Daniel enjoys his stories, too (you should hear him go “sssssss” when we get to the quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’ in Goodnight Moon). But Rebecca is our resident bookworm.
Now, though, she has figured out that if you bring a book to Mommy (or Daddy, or whoever is there), she will read it to you. It’s her new favorite thing. She brings me book after book, and stands in front of me, bouncing with anticipation, until I start reading. If I take too long (or am still reading the first book she brought me), she makes it known that she is quite displeased. I have to remember to tell her to “sit down please” before I start reading, or I’ll get about two pages in and she’ll be off getting the next story.
Hand picks an apple, hand picks a plum. Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.
You’re too small for basketball, unless you play with someone tall.
I see a purple cat looking at me.
It’s quiet now, what do you say?
I’ve memorized them all, it seems. And Rebecca’s getting close. She anticipates some of the animal sounds, and gleefully points out the mouse on every page, or the monkey, or the dog, or the duck. My little bookworm. So, for those who may be saying “are you kidding me? When would I find time to read to my newborn?!” Fear not.
[And how many of you out there instantly knew which four books are the playroom favorites?]