JD has really taken a shine to reading lately. Not just paging through his board books, but actually bringing me books and telling me “wead!” True to his age, he really enjoys the same book over and over and over. I have read “Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?” so many times in the past two days it has gone from cute to “good grief, let me dig out our old flap books for a change of pace”.
Except any mom can tell you that flap books seldom survive two children enough to be enjoyed by a third. Heck, our copy of Goodnight Moon is being held together with electrical tape. I can only assume we had run out of duct tape. I fix books with clear packing tape, but daddies do prefer the hardcore fix.
One of our beloved Johnny Tractor farm books used to have many more flaps. Linus took care of that. Tater’s “Busy Builders” is also half the book it used to be.
Books tend to shine a light on a child’s personality. Tater loved his truck book. He had to know every single name of every single truck. Linus loved finding books, and still does. JD seems to have combined both boys’ interests. He has to name everything in a finding book!
Once again I am sitting with a small boy in my lap, with an oversized Barnes & Noble bargain bin finding book clutched in wee little hands.
“Dat? Dat?” JD asks me. He proudly tells me what he does know, and will show me where a hat goes, or pretend to eat the cake he sees. Heaven forbid we read “I Went Walking” with the complete array of animal noises!
Story time is high theater. It is my time to shine. As the parent who can’t pitch that great and understands very little of sports in general, I get to be entertaining. Without having to bake cookies. The voices, the expressions, the pointing out tiny details that may be missed in illustrations: I can rock some stories.
Of course, this can only be done with GOOD books. There are a few that make me want to groan and ask “seriously? You want me to read this? This book sucks greens eggs and ham!” No, not Dr. Seuss, he’s the man. I mean people who rhyme things with the word kindergarten. Yes, I mean you, Mrs. Bindergarten, with your overcrowded classroom.
Excessive repetition is another beef of mine. Great when they are learning to read, like Linus. By the end of some books his finger is following along as he reads. Yes, I get that. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to take some TNT to the house that Jack built and every other copycat author since. “The Napping House” is a rare exception.
The books that never end? Also a problem. If your kid trots out three of those at bedtime, you are ready to weep. Hell, YOU might be asleep before you are done. Your kids will not.
We tolerate quite a bit for the sake of our kids and their entertainment. We all have our albatross, and people with older children will assure you he is big and purple. For some he is small, red, and furry. It might the craptastic books based on popular movies that your children want to buy at school, even though they are the only books you ever considered burning for the sake of society (and your sanity). I have literally read better books about chicken butts than what some Disney adaptation books consist of.
I am pleased that my children all love books and love to read. It is wonderful to see JD get just as excited about a trip to the library as my other two were at that age.
But dear God, let Daddy be the one to read him the pumpkin book ten times tonight. I need recovery time.