I read an article about reading to kids yesterday. Yet another piece of reading that makes you wonder whether you are doing all that you can as a parent. Heck, up until I read the article, I had been charged up because I have been pretty good about reading books to M&M every night. But now I have to worry about whether my mere reading to them is even doing anything beneficial for them or whether I might as well sit them in front of the tv to watch SpongeBob every night.
When I got home with the kids after work, I set aside two library books to read after dinner. Things never quite go as planned on school nights because dinner and showers and playtime get in the way. Before we know it, the clock says 9:00 and we still haven’t read a book. So, I picked one of the two books and sat between the kids. The winner was Hot Hot Hot – a book about wooly mammoths and the Ice Age. The mammoths get hot because Summer comes around and they don’t know what to do. Ice melts when they lift it up in the sky. “Why does the ice melt?” I ask them. Maria chimes in “because the sun melts it.” Nice job. One for Ri. The next page shows the mammoths cutting off their hair. “Why would they do that?” Mario raises his hand and bursts out “because they are hot and that will cool them off!” Rock-n-roll Mario! One mammoth fans the other but that mammoth gets hot from continuously fanning the other. I ask them “why would that mammoth get hot”
Maria responds “because the mammoth has to keep fanning the other one and is not getting any air himself.” Mario responds “it’s not nice of the other mammoth to get fanned all the time and not fan her friend, too.” Different explanations – both well thought-out – they are geniuses! All of my nightly reading has paid off – they comprehend the stories and are brilliant. I can stop worrying now. Yeah, right. I can just channel my worry to one of a mama’s many other concerns: are they eating healthy enough, are they getting enough exercise, are they adapting socially….