Before I was a mom, I would have told you that one of my favorite things to do on the weekends was going to our local bookstore and sitting in the big windows overlooking the city while reading a novel and sipping tea. Those memories now feel like luxuries and a quiet lazy weekend is a foreign concept. Both my husband and I want our kids to inherit our passion for reading though, so when I needed to get some new books for a coworker’s baby shower, I pitched that we take the kids to a local Barnes & Noble to expand their own collections. What seemed like a simple outing turned into a tumultuous toddler spectacle.
N was overwhelmed by the number of choices in the store and became distracted from the books by the toys present in the children’s section (thanks a lot, Barnes & Noble). He begged us, sobbing really, for the “red puppy” he saw somewhere, which we then spent the remainder of our time in the store hunting for until we finally spotted a stuffed Clifford. Eager to escape and end this embarrassment, we grabbed Clifford and our cranky toddler and headed to the register, only to discover that he cost $21! The fire truck book he previously selected had only been $9. I would have been much happier for many reasons had he chosen a book, but I found a few that I can add to his collection and know he will enjoy reading them at bedtime even if he didn’t choose them himself. We all recovered afterwards with a nice lunch, where N was on his best behavior thanks to Clifford, so maybe he was worth the money.
While my bookstore outings look very different these days and I do miss the tranquility of my childless weekend mornings, I enjoy sharing my interests with my children and watching their own develop and grow. N really enjoys reading with us and is now “reading” his favorite books to us. He has Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site memorized and when I try to read it he covers the words and yells them for me. His exuberance is adorable and I hope that it continues throughout his life. Someday he may sit in a bookstore reading his favorite literature or chasing after his own toddler and I hope that he thinks of us while doing so.
What N is Reading:
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
Curious George Goes to the Beach (why not get in the mood for the warmer weather!), by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey
Go, Dog, Go!, by P.D. Eastman
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
Lily’s Chocolate Heart (our Valentine’s selection), by Kevin Henkes
What G is Reading:
Anna Karenina: A BabyLit Fashion Primer, by Jennifer Adams
Begin Smart: What Does Baby See?, by Begin Smart Books
Let’s Count: A First Book of Numbers, by Dave Aikens
Hippos Go Berserk, by Sandra Boynton
What I’m trying to read:
The Good Mother Myth, by Avital Norman Nathman
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
How Toddlers Thrive, by Tovah P. Klein