Reading is Fundamental (and other related matters)

Nana is now officially a card carrying member of the public library. I was excited and made it into a big deal.  I took pictures of her with her spanking new library card which she solemnly presented  librarian for her inaugural checkout. So why am I still kicking myself in the rear end and writing blogs about how guilty I feel?

Let’s unpack, shall we.

I love the library.  My mother was a elementary school teacher so we went to the library…a lot.   We didn’t go to just any branch library, we went to the big downtown library that had a whole floor dedicated to little people.  I explored every nook and cranny of the library, reading through Judy Blume, Chronciles of Narnia and pick-your-ending books. Plus the libraries had computers!

My mother had the super duper teacher’s library card so when I reach my checkout limit, I could add some to her pile.  Our plastic bags with the strings (remember those) would be filled to the brim. I would sneak books upstairs into bed, my faced pressed up against the window trying to get the last light before dusk turned into full blown night.

What would make someone who has such an affinity for reading and a love for the library wait a year before taking their own child to the library?

I hated really did not like reading those books.

At first it was fun, our nightly routine of reading books and cuddling. I felt all mommyific.  But soon it became a struggle.  Those books for two-year-olds are mind-numbing.  They were hella interesting to Nana, but I was loosing my mind reading Boom Chicka Boom every night.

I tried to make it interesting and make up other stories to go with the pictures, but kids these days are so fussy.  “Mommy, that’s not the words!”

“Okay, Okay.  Goodnight kittens, goodnight mittens.”  Dang.

I tried making up voices, but they all sounded the same.  I started singing the books to entertain myself.  “If you give a pi-ii-iigggg a paa-aaan-cayayayake.”

Reading a children’s book is only 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes max. But those minutes were like dog minutes.  Nana didn’t make it easier, wanting to hold the book, turning the pages too early, then turning them back.  Imagine Nana and I wrestling over the book in the rocking chair.  If you don’t let me get through this book little girl.

As she got older, I couldn’t skip pages anymore.  Then she started reading the book back to me after I finished.  Noooooo!

I started skipping nights every now and then.  Then two nights would go by.  And then a week.  And then for the past couple of months we didn’t have reading in our nightly routine anymore.  And that just wasn’t right.

Wood and I had a conversation about the fact that when your child gets older, they will have lots of opinions about what you could have done differently.  I want to feel confident that I did the best I could. So when I find areas where my knowing better isn’t matching up with doing better, there is a problem.

Reading to Nana regularly, especially during these formative years, is incredibly important for our attachment, her language skills, concentration, and overall interest in reading later in life.  It was an incredible gift that my mother gave to me and I have a responsibility to pass that on to Nana.

So say hello to the newest regular visitors to the library.



4 thoughts on “Reading is Fundamental (and other related matters)

  1. Interestingly enough, this is one of the best times for A and I. He sits quietly and is engrossed in these stories. If it gets really good he starts asking ‘why is he doing that…why is he holding that’. I tried the voices too….not my best skill, lol. I also love when he picks one of my old books because for the most part I remember reading them with my mom. Getting him a library card is a good idea but A’s inside voice disappears when he gets excited (like full on yelling) so I don’t think we’re ready for the required quiet of a library just yet.

    • Nana and I had to have a special talk about library voices. She’s three so I have to reminder her occasionally but since she’ll get used to library etiquette.

      Nana loves storytime too. I just didn’t like reading the same books over and over. The library will help both of us since we can re-up our choices. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Duh….

      • We haven’t gone through our entire library yet so we’re still good. I make him pick a new book every night because his favorite book isn’t even a story book. He likes an activity book….he thinks the instructions are stories. It’s basically crazy to read as a bedtime story which I figured out on night 1, lol.

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