My daughter is obsessed. As in, she seems to love, love, love reading (or hearing, I guess is more like it) Harold and the Purple Crayon. It is a really cute and magical book, I must admit.
If I let her, she’ll choose it as the book she wants me to read at bedtime pretty much every night. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. One night I cut it off at the pass as we were headed into her room after brushing teeth: “Elena, we’re not reading Harold and the Purple Crayon tonight.” Her: I want to read Harold and the Purple Crayon!” Me: “No, we read it every night…let’s read something else.” Her: Sniff, sniff. (As if I’d just banned her from seeing her best friend…) “Okay,” she said grabbing another book reluctantly – which, by the way, is usually My Truck is Stuck. Sigh.
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About a week and a half ago it occurred to me that Easter might be approaching soon. I think had something to do with all the rabbits, eggs and candy displayed at every turn. Then, there was the actual calendar viewing which revealed it was a little more than a week away. Ahh – caught off guard again! That’s okay. Fortunately the Easter Bunny knows how to kick things into high gear when the situation calls for it. Target took care of the basics: buckets, grass, cards, some candy (with leftovers for the Easter Bunny and her partner, of course). What was missing was that little extra “something.”
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Every Monday night Ian comes home with two new books that he checked out at the library that day. This week he brought home two books from the “Fly Guy” early reading series so he could “practice his reading,” he told us. I noted (to myself) that this was a great improvement over last week when he brought home some Star Wars chapter book that looked like it was for a teenager. I digress.
So, last night I casually pointed to the books as I passed by and told Ian we’d have to sit down with them “soon.” Translated: I don’t want to do it right now, but it’s on my good-mother-to-do list. At which point he said, “Well, I’m already on chapter three of this one!” “Oh, did you read some while you were in the library?” “Yeah,” he says. Okay, I thought. That’s nice.
Then…wait a second…that’s more than nice. You read! A book! On your own! “Ian,” I said, “I think that’s the first time that you’ve sat down and read something all by yourself, isn’t it?” A big smile engulfs his entire face: “Yes! It is!” He was so impressed with himself that a few minutes later he apparently decided he no longer needed me. He plopped down with the book and began reading out loud to us on his own.
Wow, I think we’ve just about got ourselves a real live reader. I love it.
I feel lucky that both of our children have generally been fans of their bedtime (so far, at least). Take tonight, for instance. I got home just after 6:30 p.m. Jeff had already fed Elena (because she also takes after her brother in the area of no patience when it comes to her dinner time) and not five minutes after I walked in, she was at the gate shaking it while she proclaimed, “bat! bat! bat!” Translated: I’m ready to go upstairs and take my bath and head to bed, people! But geez, it wasn’t even 7pm. Apparently she doesn’t realize that it’s okay for her to start stretching out her bedtime instead of being ready even earlier.
Regardless, I must say that after Jeff takes care of the baths and I chase her around to get jammies on and attempt to brush her teeth (she does not take after her brother in the cooperation department…or at least when he used to be generally cooperative pre-kindergarten, but that’s another post), our last minutes before bedtime are ones that I wish I could bottle up and take out whenever I need a smile in the years to come. Every night it’s the same routine:
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So far Elena seems to enjoy books as much as Ian does. I hope it sticks.