Last week something momentous happened: I actually started reading a novel.
Don’t get me wrong. I love reading. But in the last long while my reading has been limited to parenting or music perception or Curious George or magazines. Last week, inspired by a novel I received for my birthday, I decided it was time to take action. It was time to bring back “quiet reading time.”
As background, a few months ago, I was stunned to pick Laurel up at day care one day and find her lying on her belly on a mat, surrounded by a stack of books, reading happily on her own. She’s not exactly the type of kid who tends to play on her own so we thought it would be great to encourage this behavior, and introduced “quiet reading time” as a way to wind down for 5-10 minutes before bed time.
Back then (she was around 22 months) it didn’t fly. Laurel translated “quiet reading time” as a chance to drag all of her books off the shelves and shuttle them between the living room and bedroom. But last week, we tried again and the results have been amazing. We typically stretch out on Laurel’s rug before bedtime (or yesterday, we even snuggled up on the couch during the day) and read together for 10-15 minutes. It has been a marvelous way for everyone to unwind. Plus, I’m more than halfway through my fabulous novel, and we have been stunned by the evidence of what Laurel has absorbed in her 25 months. Even for books that haven’t been read in some time, she picks them out and starts reciting the stories aloud, either cuddled up to me and/or Jon, or while sitting in front of her stuffed animals, who she has assembled for story time.