October 11th, 2009
Never did I imagine that the day would come when I would discourage my daughter from reading. And yet, this morning, were you to peek into her room, you would find her usual stack of board books absent from their place next to the rocking chair. Further scrutiny would reveal that same books are cunningly stashed out of sight around the room — under the crib, in dresser drawers, etc. — anywhere she won’t find them.
Why, you ask, am I bent on promoting illiteracy in my darling offspring?
For the very simple reason that if I have to read “Where Is Baby’s Belly-Button” or “I Am a Bunny” One More Time, I may just throw them out the window. I loved all Miss Mouse’s books passionately the first hundred times we read them. Now, as the repetitions reach into the thousands, they’re starting to lose their luster.
Unfortunately, now is when Miss Mouse is showing more and more interest in her books. She loves them. When I’m sitting on the floor, she’ll crawl over to her stash and pick one out. She holds it out to me and then scrambles over and purposefully settles her behind in my lap, then kicks her legs and squeaks. It’s marvelous. It really is.
But once we’ve read the book through, she hands it to me again. And then again. And then again. I kid you not, she will ask for the same book ten times in a row, and when the text of the book consists of “I am a bunny. My name is Nicholas. I live in hollow tree” there’s only so many times you can read it with the proper enthusiasm.
After about five times through any given book, I distract her momentarily with a toy and slip the book into a hiding spot. Pretty soon, she asks for another book and the we do it again. By the end of the morning, they’re all hidden. I bring them back out the next day and we repeat the process.