I have to admit, with great shame, that I don’t read to my baby very often. I read to the other two from the first moment, I swear I did. And it was lovely. They adore books. Storytime is the bedrock of our family traditions. The absolute worst punishment Buster ever met was me sending him to bed with no story! I only tried that once, and it was unbearable. I can’t remember what the infraction was, but it couldn’t have been that bad. He was only five or so. He wept like I was murdering him, on and on, and I had to give in and take back my punishment cause he broke my heart. It was just too cruel.
Buddy Boy also relishes that sacred time every night. When I first brought him home and he was just a lap baby I read Itsy Bitsy Spider to him every night until we knew each other well enough to branch out into new territory. Now he races into my room and launches onto the bed shouting “your turn to pick!” or “my turn tonight!” No matter how frazzled and exhausted I am my story voice comes out and we are in magic land for those 20 minutes.
But so far Punkin hasn’t taken to that glory. Our magic time is bath time, when he wriggles with delight as soon as the tap is on. By the time he is lotioned-up and wrapped in jammies and carried into his crib he is half asleep and eager for the mattress. As for books, he likes to open and close them. He gets angry if someone else tries to turn the pages or set the pace of open and close. He is not interested in the pictures, doesn’t care for Moos and Squawks, and doesn’t stand for longwinded plot lines such as “Baby visits the farm”. So I haven’t pushed it. I am giving him time to explore open and close at his own pace. He likes putting books on a shelf and taking them off, as well. Possibly he will become an engineer?
Last night I was feeling ashamed of my negligence in reading to him, fearing for his vocabulary development or something. I snagged a few free minutes while Buster was allowing Buddy Boy to watch him on the computer. I snuggled him onto my lap with Goodnight Moon, the board book edition. I whipped through the pages too fast for him to protest, and actually got the whole thing read before his fat little fingers could get a grip. Then I relaxed and let him open and close for a while. He just loves to see the pages turn. I started daydreaming and absent-mindedly flipped through the book, fanning us both. Punkin laughed. You know the bright orange and green coloring on those pages… the art work looks particularly wild when moving at a high speed. He kept laughing and letting me do it, so I did it again, and again… I think we’ve found a hook!