Like many expectant parents, I read to my baby while she was in the womb hoping she would come out loving the written word. It seems this experiment didn’t work. Not yet, at least. My daughter would rather eat her books than listen to me read them.
As a bibliophile myself, this kills me. I want her to know what it means to lose herself for hours at a time reading her little heart out. Staying up well after I’ve told her lights out with a flashlight illuminating the pages of her favorite book as she hides under the covers.
I know it’s probably an attention span thing and will get better with time. Being a baby and all I’m sure she has the attention span of a gnat (although if you ask me, she’s a baby genius).
It comes down to timing. When we read her stories in the morning, she’s all about The Very Hungry Caterpillar, following along and waving good-bye to the butterfly at the end of the story when he flies away. But if it’s close to bedtime and we’re curled up in her rocking chair with On the Night You Were Born — forget it, she doesn’t care if the wind and the rain are whispering her name or if heaven blew every trumpet on the wonderful, marvelous night she was born. She just wants her woobie and to go to sleep, thank you very much. None of that drivel.
According to my mom, my first word was read so naturally it’s my dream for my girl to follow in my footsteps. I want her to have a hearty appetite for books, devouring each and every one she gets her mitts on. But not like she does now — devouring them with her mind.
And if she doesn’t like to read?
I’ll bribe her until she does. Just kidding.
I guess letting go of your expectations and realizing your kids are their own people complete with their own likes and dislikes, separate from your own, is all part of becoming a parent.
And if you don’t want to give up your expectations, bribery probably works wonders.