Read to your child.
All the experts say it. I can remember talking with Jeanette. “Do you think he will even sit for it?”
Sitting in the rocker when Ethan was less than a year. Flipping the pages, reading aloud, and wondering if he wasn’t going to wiggle out of my grasp. It’s hard to hold a book and balance a child.
Then, it got easier. And of course, I had to do the voices. We moved from Eric Carle to “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.” Tessa was born and it was Disney time. We read to her too. Mermaids, unicorns, and princesses and laughing too loud for bedtime. “Dance, Dance Underpants” gave way to graphic novels like “Smile.”
For Ethan, picture books are still present when I grab a good one from school, but now it’s space and rockets and the solar system and the sinking of the Bismarck. Robert Ballard, having discovered the Bismarck and Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, is an important person for my son.
That went fast, right…? Babies to toddlers to school age. Reading board books to picture books to “Ready to Read” to I can say “Go read in your room before bed” and then we are on 4 islands. Some nights, it’s all 4 of us reading by ourselves. Some nights, there are phones or TV involved.
Even though it went fast, I have a magic power. I can slow time down you know. All I have to do is one of these things.
Go into their room and start reading aloud.
Bring a new book home and get everyone together.
Take the kids to the library and find that book that a colleague recommended.
Then, and only then, will time slow down. It is as though nothing has changed, even if nothing is the same. School-aged children will still listen to their Mom or Dad read a book. And of course, they have to do the voices.