As I mentioned last week, no two kids are the same and usually their upbringing differs slightly too, depending on whether they’re first-born or not. I’m not proud to admit that, when it came to Robin, I got lazy with something as important as fostering a love for books and reading. It’s ironic when you think that writing and reading are my life, they’re who I am and who I’ve always been. Not to mention the years I spent selling books!
I started reading to Maia when she was two weeks old. I would read The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Quiet Cricket to her as she lay in her moses basket as my parents stared at me in disbelief, suggesting that maybe I was taking my love for books a little too far. Still, I insisted that Maia would benefit from my reading to her and from looking at the colourful pictures in those books (I made sure to hold them close to her face during those first few weeks). And benefit she did. She still loves books and reading and she never tore or bent a book.
Her lively little sister was not as lucky. I didn’t read to her (ever) until she was about six or seven months old and then it was very sporadic. I’d grab a book and read it to her while waiting for lunch to cook or after she woke up from her nap. I wasn’t consistent and I felt guilty (what’s new?). Then, during a recent follow-up visit, her paediatrician suggested that reading to her everyday might encourage her to repeat words and help her expand her vocabulary. Well, duh! Obviously her speech development would benefit from reading more! So why hadn’t I thought of it? Why on earth did it take me so long to incorporate reading into her daily routine?!
So we started reading some of her favourite books before naps and before bedtime in the evening. And wouldn’t you know! She has since added quite a few words to her vocabulary, all learned from reading those very books. I read to her as we snuggle in their bedroom, just the two of us and I love the few minutes I can dedicate to her without any interruptions or distractions. It’s our bonding time too.
Here are the books she is loving right now:
- Mahma, baboom and numnum (islandfairy.wordpress.com)