Friday, May 14, 2010

A book addict

I think we officially have a book addict in our house. River used to want food immediately upon waking up. Now he wants books. First books to page through himself while on the potty. Then at least one, preferably three, books read to him before he’ll even think about breakfast.

Through the day, he’ll listen to as many books as he can get people to read to him. I’d say 20 is probably a fair average. At the last Spanish story hour, he was the only child who actually listened to all the books the librarian read.

“It’s so beautiful, how he sits and pays attention,” said one caregiver of a younger child who was running all over the room. She said she wasn’t going to bring this child any more since she didn’t pay attention. I thought, I’ve got a little nerd in the making. But I like him just the way he is.

Last night I came home tired from work and he approached me with a stack of six books. “These are books for mama,” he said, indicating that they were in Spanish (as they were).

The first one he selected was the 62-page Amelia Bedelia, in Spanish. I was initially excited as I had fond memories of Amelia Bedelia and was enthusiastic to be able to reread it. But perhaps I’ve lost my child-like sense of humor, because it seemed kind of lame this time around.

He sat through the entire 62 pages. Then wanted another one immediately afterwards. Then another. He wanted to get through the whole stack, and one of them (which I managed to avoid) was even longer than Amelia Bedelia.

I finally cut him off after three, telling him I was tired, and feeling like a lame-o mom. So he asked me to bring him over to the bookshelf and lift him up. There, he pulled a stack of flashcards off the shelf, climbed up on the table and started looking through the flashcards on his own.

It’s a child in my image, a child who loves to learn and can completely lose oneself in books. I have a lot of fond memories of intensive reading as a child and I regret that not only is time a factor in preventing that these days, but my concentration level doesn’t seem to be as high as it once was. Perhaps there were times I might have benefited from more socialization or organization activities, especially of a challenging or intellectual nature. But lacking that, books were my friends.

Mark is worried that River has an addiction. He thinks it’s extreme. It’s hard for me to see any harm in a two year old losing himself in books. He learns words, ideas, concepts and stories. What else is he supposed to be doing with his time at this age? Yes, perhaps he could use a little more physical challenges and/or socialization. We’ll be working on that in the next year or so.
But for now, he’s a book boy and it makes me happy.

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