Mama Bear's reading habits...
It was sometime in 2007, when baby bear was a three year old toddler, that my days were so long I would want to cry when the alarm clock went off. My favorite part of the day was getting back in the bed again. That was sad. The short list of my day:
- Take baby bear to school
- Go to work
- Come home for lunch and do stuff (30 mins)
- Go back to work
- Get off work come home and do stuff (30 mins)
- Stop by coffee shop for something called the Red-Eye
- Pick up baby bear
- All the stuff in between
- Read story, put baby bear to bed
- Go to school online until I couldn't hold my head up anymore (Red-Eye made all the difference in making it until 11pm)
My reading voice was less than enthusiastic when I read bedtime stories. Around that time, the favorite story to read EVERYDAY was Little Einsteins Australian Adventure. While I felt it was important to read to my son every night for a moment of bonding, it was also important that the book did not put ME to sleep. So I took shortcuts in reading and read the pictures.
One page read:
Leo sees two tree frogs on a leaf. They are so tiny! Tree frogs often sit on leaves in little pools of water. They are so small that Leo has to get very close to take their picture.
Tired Mama Bear version:
Leo takes a picture of two tree frogs on a leaf ~ whips to next page
One time when my mom was visiting, he picked this book as his bedtime story and Mimi proceeded to read the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I caught the look on his face when I passed by his room. I imagined if he could articulate his thoughts he would have said, "That's not the right words Mimi." He was confused and looked as though he wondered why Mimi was taking so long. Also I believe he was just as anxious to show her the next page. ~whips to next page
If I could re-arrange and rename the tradition, it would be called the before dinner story. Before bed kids are already trying to procrastinate, and will pick the longest book just to listen to you talk. That's kind of sweet actually. But unlike 'made for tv kids', reading at bedtime makes ME sleepy not him.
Yesterday Christopher brought home a book from the library at school. It was new to me and fun to read. We read it before dinner, but in our same spot on his bed. The quality time was extended. I wasn't tired yet, therefore I read with enthusiasm, used voices and patiently entertained his questions. When I said, "The End", he said, "That was pretty good mom!"
Here's the thing...the third shift of the day is for me time. I would rather not be put to sleep at 8pm with a bedtime story. I'm all for calling it The Before Dinner Story.