Reading reading reading. At first it was totally and utterly unclear what and when to start reading to the babies. They did not know what books are, had no sense of story, had no interest. or so it seemed.
Resistance came first
Their talent for walking was used to walk over the books or simply walk off! They turned to the end page after the first side. Few of my attempts to excite them into the wild world of words worked.
Worse still they threw or grabbed the book yanking the covers to split the spine. I had to accept that some lovely works of literature about Thomas, Humpty and Dinosaurs would be lost. Going to the local library seemed impossible. Buying new books equally problematic.
Climate friendly cheap books
Buying books from charity shops and secondhand bookshops has allowed for higher turnover and the odd loss. As my daughter tells me it is right of the climate too.
Then the library
Thankfully libraries are not the ‘shhhhh’ , anti-child places they were in my childhood. Many now offer group story telling and singing sessions which welcome small babies as well as toddlers, with all the inherent risks. There is no doubt that my boys love of reading has been helped by the welcome libraries and their wonderful staff offer.
‘Broken Broken’ Nanny
After months of effort their interest grew. On one depressing day though the 2 year old was going through a Thomas Book with flaps. Having looked at them with Nanny when the doorbell rang I felt sure he would be occupied while I let his Mum in from her shopping. He started calling out what I thought was ‘ Welcome, welcome….’ to the sound of Mummy’s voice. Mummy laughed at me ‘ Silly Nanny, he is saying ‘ broken, broken’ …he was ripping off each flap both those covering James, Thomas, Edward and the numbers to be learnt. The sellotaped repair meant this book would not be seeing another charity shop. In fact days later the repeated flap repair ended.
- Avoid flaps unless you are in control
- Buys books from charity and secondhand bookshops
- Don’t answer the doorbell when a two year old is in charge of a book!
- Use the local library, no requirement to stay silent these days