A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: reading

Lazy Weekend Mornings…

My three-year-old little man didn’t wake especially early, but the rest of the house was still asleep. I’d been up for an hour enjoying the easy quiet of the house…wasting time as Mommies do when no one is around. It was too early for me to be roaming the house, but the lure of no one else around was too strong, and that’s why caffeine exists.

Eventually, my son treks downstairs, eating his banana in front of the sofa where I continue to lay. Upon finishing the prelude to his breakfast, he walks to the bookcase housing almost the entirety of our children’s reading collection, and chooses his latest passionate obsession.

Image result for ping the duck book

Mr. Man climbs into my arms, snuggling close. My son has the tale mostly memorized…at least the first few pages, so he begins until it is my turn to take over. In a relatively hushed utterance I read each page, my son rapt. He periodically stops me to inquire about the illustrations…the reflection in the water…the rings around the fishing birds’ necks…asking if Ping looks happy. Small inquires like that are typical to my curious little boy. My son continued to burrow into the snuggle, telling his love for me during breaks between the repetitive story renditions.

Little Man and I agree to change his diaper after I read one of his favorite pigeon books.

Image result for pigeon finds a hot dog

But, just as the story concluded and Mr. Man sought the solitary image of the eaten hot dog among the tantalizing complete ones on the back cover, he heard Daddy stirring upstairs. The spell was broken. My son rushed to meet his hero. Simultaneously, Warrior Queen announced her awakened state with cries to join the morning rumble. I guess the diaper will wait…

Read Along

My soon-to-be-threenager loves a story. Scratch that, he is absolutely passionate about a story. It doesn’t matter the quality; Little Man does not discriminate. I read to him so often that he has the entirety of his bookshelf memorized. I don’t remember him on this front when he was Warrior Queen’s age. Newly mobile, she is too consumed with exploring to sit for a tale. My best shot is when she is partaking in a bottle or solids meal. I have her feed herself a bottle in her car seat bucket with a towel supporting the bottle for when she has difficulty maneuvering her beverage. It’s become her preferred bottle method, the independent sprite she is. I came to realization yesterday that phasing out the use of her bottle in a scant month or so will be a nonissue. My daughter much prefers non liquid foods, and would gladly do away with bottles altogether if she knew what to do with the sippy cup.

Image result for munchkin sippy cup

(We use a Munchkin sippy cup. It doesn’t cause the same transition or dental issues as a typical sippy cup.)

I imagine she will get it once the time comes. I’ve stopped fretting on such things, as my kids always manage to do things like this in their own time as long as I don’t get in the way of their progress. If I’m a strong enough Mommy to let them be independent, they usually rise to the occasion, and it breaks my heart a little every time.

But, I digress…meals are the only time Warrior Queen will attend, unless her brother is reading to her…Mr. Man will take a tale whenever. It is a common site to have baby sister in her high chair, and big brother on my lap. We will all be snacking or nibbling something, and I will be reading from a collection my son chose and carted over to the kitchen table. Little Man will have a selection of certain favorites each week. Some of the books so practiced he will “read” them after my run through. Sometimes we alternate pages; sometimes he will recite sections randomly before requesting me to continue. I’m surprised of my love for a read aloud, even when the repetitions are tiresome. The best stories are the ones with an easy, rhythmical cadence; and I have to say I’m quite a good story orator.

I’ve found that Little Man quotes excerpts from his stories randomly throughout the day. One particular prized usage is from one that is tops on my list.

Image result for the duckling gets a cookie

Basically, the pigeon in this series is a toddler…and hilarious…because I don’t have to discipline him. My son’s preferred quote to throw at me is from this book, “It’s not fair. Ducklings get everything.” Usually the life context is correct even if there is no duckling…or cookie involved. If he isn’t particularly distraught with his situation, he will continue a bit further with the dialogue.

Several months back I schlepped a box of books up from the basement. Our shelves were becoming cluttered, so we temporarily retired some of the books I read to my son when he was a baby. Since my fierce sprite is older, they were called back into service. Mr. Man was absolutely delighted and pilfered the selection on the regular for a couple weeks.

The bucket feedings, however, are the purist opportunity for me to read to a captive baby audience, even if she demonstrates no literature preference just yet. The other day is an example of a moment I want to recall easily for the remaining days of my life. Warrior Queen was in her bucket enjoying her bottle. I was sitting on the floor next to her, Mr. Man on my lap. He chose two among the week’s favorites, and as I read Brown Bear my son bobbed his head to the predictable rhythm of the words each and every time I read the story.

Image result for brown bear brown bear what do you see

When I read Llama Llama Red Pajama, he laughed to himself at each of his favorite parts of the book.

Related image

Warrior Queen was rapt on the pictures, drinking peacefully. It was such a small memory, one that would likely evaporate in my family’s story. But, I have these words, and one day when I sit with my mug of tea, I will come across this, and the clearest picture will rush to my mind’s eye. For that brief moment my children won’t be quite so independent…quite so distant.

Out of the Closet…and Into a Tent

It was a cute evening. I go upstairs to check on my toddler who likely terrorized his bedroom with every article he possesses strewn all over the floor. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all that bad. He looks up from his book, and requests me to follow him and enter his spacious closet. He directs me to sit, and hands me a book to read.

After a few pages, he stands up, once again insisting I follow. He dives into the hand-me-down tent his cousins used over a decade ago. Little Man begs that I enter with him and continue reading. I’m small, but not so small that I can sit upright. I stretch on my side. My sweet little boy curls up along my length, looks up at me with smiling eyes and beaming mouth. Then he gazes on the page of my utterings.

We remained that way until my husband entered the room with our daughter. The spell was broken. Little Man falls over me giggling on his way out. I clumsily exit, taking some of the tent with me. By that time no one was in the room to hear the profane fragment escape my lips, as the tent opening clutched my ankle. I could hear the ruckus downstairs, and it pulled me like a string around my abdomen.

Worth 1,000 Words

I’m all about the reading. Reading aloud to my children is one of my most favorite activities, even when the story selection passed its threshold of tedium in the rear view mirror. Beyond the general short and long term benefits of reading to the young’uns, I have ulterior motives. I was illiterate through the fourth grade, and a fairly lousy reader through college. I’m ignorant of the scientific explanation for my troubles, but it impacted everything from my egregious writing to my pathetic understanding of social cues. It’s all part of my path, and I’m proud of who I am. That said, it wasn’t an easy path, and some of my struggles endure. Aware that my genetic composition is the cause of some of the more harsh parts of my reality, I try the best I can to offset their effects should my children inherit some of my dysfunction. Reading is one of those interventions. If my children can’t read as most, I want them to love a story. With any luck it will be a beacon if the literary world presses down its fog.

With this theme ever present in my mind, I’m heartened on days such as today. Certainly there are copious of other events to warm my very core in this arena. Little Man loves tales above all else, and the Warrior Queen at a ripe old age of six-months shows every inclination of possessing the same passion. She has since she was brewing in my belly; developed enough to hear and appreciate my vocal cadence, yet small enough to have room for her interpretive dancing in response to my rhythm.

Warrior Queen is on the cusp of reciprocating as her big brother’s playmate. Little Man itches for these interactions. Today is a new one. When my son was an itty bitty exterior soul, I purchased these Black on White/White on Black books…if you can call them that.

Image result for white on black infant book

 (This is an example of a couple of the book images.)

I couldn’t tell you if these books are actually helpful for babies or just in name, but such a thing doesn’t hurt. Why not invest in a couple? Mr. Man was indifferent as a baby, but my fierce girl is much more delighted by objects in general than he ever was. I gave this accordion cardboard collection another whirl. My son was thrilled by the suggestion before I had the chance to formally present the book to either child. He ecstatically shrieked his request to show the Warrior Queen, and I may have lost a frequency or two in my hearing capability.

I sat on a chair at my desk. My daughter on her belly facing away from me, the book standing on its edges, fanned before her. Her doting big brother sharing in tummy time immediately next to her, reading the images. He was engrossed in the task, oblivious to her vacillated gaze between the pictures like the ones above, and awe of the sweet boy she resembles so closely. And, I melted.

 

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