Thursday, February 18, 2016

little baby book monster.

When Avery was littler, she didn't seem to care much about books. No, I take that back. She couldn't have cared less about books. She didn't have the patience for being read to at all. To her, books were square objects to be chewed on, and nothing more.

This made me feel kind of bad. I mean, I am the Library Faerie, darnit! I heard other people talk about how much their little ones loved books so much...and then here was Avy, wanting to play boisterously and chew on toys and giggle at the dogs, but not wanting to be read to. I felt like maybe I was doing something wrong? Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough? Although something else told me it was okay, too--that maybe she just wasn't ready yet to have the patience for reading books.

And then, over the past month or so, it's like a key turned. Now she is OBSESSED with books. She's like a little baby book monster. She just wants to devour every story she can get her chubby little hands on.

Reading some Seuss with Dad & Yoda.

You can't begin to imagine how happy (and relieved!) this makes me! I finally have my own little baby bookworm.

So, naturally, my mind is now working overtime trying to think about ways to bank on Avery's new-found bookishness. The former teacher and current children's librarian in me immediately thinks: teachable moment! Turn this into some sort of structured learning system to employ at home! Hit Pinterest and find all sorts of activities with printables and...

Yikes. Hold yer horses, lady.

I am frequently having these thoughts about how I need to turn our life into a walking, talking preschool curriculum, and then reigning myself back in. I know know KNOW and will sing the praises of letting kids be kids, do their own thing, and learn from genuine, spontaneous, unadulterated, self-driven play. Their brains are wired to learn from every little thing they do. I once heard small children referred to as "research and development" on a TED Talk, and it's so true. Play is the work of childhood. Kids get a good thing going, and we adults think we need to nose in and do it for them.

Uh-uh. Not this mama. It may be in my nature to want to constantly be controlling the flow of things so I feel less anxiety, but as in nearly all things in my life, I am consciously working on practicing the go-with-the-flow wu-wei que-sera-sera method. That's not to say that when Avery gets older, I won't be constantly coming up with crafts for us to make and activities for us to do! That's definitely my thing, so for sure I'll be keeping us busy. But right now, and in the spaces between planned activities, I have to remind myself that JUST playing and JUST reading books are enough.

On that note: I think the best thing you can do to bank on your kiddo's love of books is to frequent your local library and check out buttloads of books to read to him/her. Simple as that. And if your wee one is still little and not into books yet, take heart; I think that's something that might just take time. My two cents!

/end rant! Sorry to be so meta and talk so much about books, but lately they've been at the forefront of my mind more than ever. And all over my living room floor!

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