Thursday, November 5, 2009

Story time

We've been in a reading mood this week. Augie was always a book-lover (he was 10 mos in this photo with Pa). Vi preferred looking at pictures, upside-down, but now she too picks out stories, listens all the way through, and says "Again?" (Not really a question.) Today we read Elmo Loves You four times in a row, an alphabet verse book three times, and lots of others.

Much of the time Pa/Peter and I are both reading aloud, simultaneously, each to a different kid. These dueling narratives used to make me crazy, because (a) he has a booming delivery and (b) words coming in through my ears trump words I'm trying to read. But we have managed to accommodate one another, and it's all become much more enjoyable. (I had suggested that we could read in separate rooms, but it's more fun being together in the living room, which allows the kids to trade off, bringing one book to me and the next to Pa.)

Many of Vi's new favorites were well loved by Augie and still resonate. So Augie and I might be deep into Arthur's Birthday or Tootle, but, if Pa starts reading Goodnight Moon, Augie will look up and tune in to that. I just pause until he turns back to our pages.

But we're entering a new phase: increasingly, there are books that both kids want to hear at the same time. We'll all snuggle together and read I'm a Little Teapot (the world adventures version) or nursery rhymes or But Not the Hippopotamus. I suspect Vi will come to love Max with his Wild Things and Alexander with his terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. And over time, we'll find ourselves introducing new stories to both kids at once.

When Vi turned 15 months, Augie was twice her age. But with each month that goes by, the difference shrinks a little, and in many ways--reading being one of them--that will add to the fun.

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