I am on my sixth or seventh cup of coffee today and my brain is literally bouncing all over so please stay with me on this Coffee With Denise.
Today I have a question for all of you…Do you read aloud to your kids?
We go in spurts. One of my favorite photos from the #CabinAdventure is the one where I am sitting at the campfire reading to the boys. We were finishing a total boy series by Gary Paulsen then.
But here is my new favorite mom tip for you all….
Get yourself some books on cd.
I had used them on our trip and even told you all they were lifesaving. But who knew they would solve all kinds of problems on a ten minuted drive? It’s astounding, really.
As soon as we get in the suburban, they ask for the book to start. We must wait in any parking lot for the sentence to end (this is rough when we are already arriving later than we should to school.) As soon as I pick them up, they are asking for me to start the book again.
And while the book is playing – silence.
Now, I used to look forward to hearing all about their day in that ten minute drive home. That would last until we had gotten out of our little farming town…maybe. Then the fighting would be begin. Someone touched someone else. Someone looked at someone else. And then I would be yelling to just get along because yelling at kids to tell them to be happy works wonders.
It doesn’t. Just in case you thought I was serious.
But put a book in? Blissful silence.
It just soothes them. We arrive home and it’s as if we were on a mini vacation. It makes our evening just begin better. I find talking with them later about their day actually gets more out of them. Instead of me saying, “How was your day?” and them saying “Good” one will say, “That was so sad when they thought Jack died. So and so was sad at school today and…..”. Suddenly I am getting a whole story that had happened in their day.
I love it.
I love that we are sharing a story all together. And that I’m not reading because, as an introvert, that reading aloud uses up astronomical amounts of my words I am able to utter in a day.
Right now we are listening to Little House on the Prairie. Not a fan of Cherry Jones reading it, she mispronounces key words and especially names – well, so it sounds to my Midwestern ears. We just crossed the river and it was at this point that the cd began skipping terribly due to scratches we hadn’t noticed. I tried to get a new cd from the library but the library asking center was down so I called another library and drove to another town to get it.
That’s how into this whole books on cd thing we are.
We immediately put it into the cd player. We listened in rapt attention to the section of the story where they cross the river now that we had no more scratches in the cd.
We literally cheered as we smoothly moved on the next chapter, we learned Jack had survived and then…well, we don’t know.
The cd is scratched.
We shouted in utter frustration. “Just read the book to us, Mama!” the boys begged.
But I am already reading a book about pilgrims aloud to them. And I am reading a LOT of that book to them because Daddy has the cd of the book and we want to be ahead of him in our reading just so we can say, “We know more of the story than you do”. Apparently we are a wee bit competitive. (I wonder if competitive reading is a sport? I may be able to do sports then!) when he has a two hour drive, well, that’s a lot of reading.
Time changed here so we are totally confused. We are eating dinner at four thirty at night and by six we think it may be time for bed so we read for forever.
But as they are all cuddled around me on the couch, or we are laying haphazardly across the bed or floor, or just sitting at the dining room table…reading to my boys is one of the simple pure joys I have as a mother. I will read aloud to them as long as they let me.
And so I ask again, do you read to your children?
If you have a question for Coffee With Denise, just leave it in the comments, tweet me, facebook me or email me. Just ask me! I’d love to answer your questions for me on the blog – it’s so fun!