Everything we had read online said that it was never too early to get a child started on reading. I quickly ordered a bunch of recommended children’s books. When they arrived, D and I could not wait to get him started.
The plan was to read a book to him before bed. This way we would be setting a nice bedtime routine and would find a definite time slot in his busy pooping-eating-sleeping schedule for reading.
D and I put the baby down in the centre of the bed and then settled down on either side so that all three of us could see the book.
“Goodnight Moon” I read the title of the cloth book.
“In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of –
The cow jumping over the moon”
I turned the page
And the red balloon
I was quite pleased. This book was proving to be a winner. Totally relevant to bed time.
There was the small matter of the baby’s attention being wholly on the lights in the ceiling. I figured he would join the bandwagon in a couple of more pages. You know how some books are? You don’t tune into them before the first hundred pages are done.
“Goodnight noises everywhere”
D who had been playing with his mobile on the sly said “Go on. You are doing well”
“The book got over” I said.
“Not much of a plotline is there?” I asked thoughtfully
“Did you realise” D added even more thoughtfully “Each line cost us about 100 rupees?”
This thought seemed to galvanise him into action. He grabbed the book from me and began
“In the great green room”
Ah, I figured, repeated renditions would bring down the per line cost
But D’s plan was on a larger scale. After the first line, he paused to explain that the room was green. Then pointed at the illustration and repeated ‘green’ several times for good effect.
And so on, we proceeded with the reading. D pointed out the bunny lying in bed, his booties(“Just like yours!”), the tiger rug lying on the floor (“Er..why does a bunny have a tiger rug in his room?”).
He spun out the story for a whole twenty minutes. By this time, the baby was actually staring at the book.
Our little literary giant (Smitten-mommy thought)
Finally, we kissed the baby good night, turned off the lights, swaddled him and put him in his crib.
Five minutes later, the baby was bawling his head off to be rocked.
Oh well, atleast we got him interested in reading. The bedtime routine will happen later.