Tonight this very rare thing happened: my little girl let me read her five stories before she drifted off to sleep in my arms.
Let me explain.
We have two children. First came our son, then our daughter. And, well, it’s been difficult to be equitable in all things with our second child.
My husband and I are both the youngest of two in our families, so, really, we get it. Sometimes parents are just too busy for hours of stories and quiet snuggles when another child comes along.
But, as an educator, I’ve been a little hard on myself. Indeed, for months I have been silently panicking that my daughter will reject books, knowledge, and learning for the rest of her life. Also, she seems to be a most active learner – quite the departure from our son who will sit with a stack of books that he can’t read until a room darkens. Will we ever figure out TWO children’s needs?
To be honest, it all felt useless. Failed attempt at catching her eye with a book. Failed attempt at getting her to sit for more than two seconds (surely a lap was out of the question!). Failed attempt at competing with any stimulation external to the book (Oh, hey, is that an uncovered outlet?).
After a while, you get just tired of trying. And this no-books-for-me dance lasted nine long months.
But then this thing happens…and the stage is over. Out of nowhere, she finds a favorite book. My advice? Let her rip the pages if it means she is interested. Then, she learns to flip with excitement, patience even. And, finally, you read the book 15 times in a row. What’s that? Oh, yes, the same book.
I think success smells an awful lot like visions of a burning Pat the Bunny book.
If you are a parent, there is inevitably some difficulty in your child’s current stage. Take heart, your worries will likely disappear – only to evoke a chuckle in the years to come.
And, I’m telling you, that badly beaten Bunny will become a part of you.
One Year Ago: The Two-Career Conundrum