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December 22, 2010

We're Ebbing Again

I posted a few months ago about the various stages – the ebbs and flows – that we’ve gone through in reading books at our house…

…from Mommy reading fairy tales for hours on end when the girls were infants…

…to me “tying” them down in their high chairs, shoveling Cheerios their way, just so I could read to them for five minutes uninterrupted.

From the girls chewing on books…

…to them being entertained for hours by looking at pictures in books…

…and eventually to them loving nothing more than Mommy reading story after story…and when I wasn’t doing that, they were playing with books themselves.

Our girls have never been “easy” on books, but – after the Great Chewing Expedition that took place during Months 12 and 13 – the girls went for a good 9 or 10 months where board books were a big part of their environment.

I was so thrilled that they not only loved being read to, but they loved pretending to read to themselves, and to each other. My dreams of scholarly children were alive!

Well…I don’t know what’s happened over the past couple of months, but we’re definitely ebbing again.

And my mind tends to wander not to seeing them draped in striped honor collars at their college graduation, but rather to bailing them out of elementary school detention for writing on the walls.

I can cut the girls some slack in not fully understanding what the cover of the book is, why you can’t just open up a random page and bend it 360 degrees around to “close” the book.

But doing that 117 times tends to crease even the sturdiest of board books.

And a crease begets a crack, and a crack must be irrrrrrrresistable to a 23-month old.

And then we have peeled off paper, and/or a broken spine…and if I’m not careful, the book is a goner.

The books have once again been taken out of the play room, placed out of reach on the other side of the gate. We still read a lot of books, but it’s one by one, with Mommy holding them. I’m constantly reminding the girls that the books have “boo-boos”, and that we have to be very gentle with them.

Having books out of reach does seem to make them a bit of forbidden fruit, though. And there is something that seems so scholarly when my girls are pleading to be read to.

I’m sure this is just another phase, but I’m ready for the tide to change on this one.

We’ve got to start tracking towards that college scholarship again…’cause Mama is going to have to mortgage the house to buy more books at this rate.


reanbean said...

It was just like that for us too. Even at 2.75 years, neither one of my guys can resist pulling at a rip or crack to make a book go from damaged to completely ruined. But over all, my guys seem to respect their books much more and we're replacing them less often.

We get a lot of our books second hand (library book sales, MOM sales, hand me downs), so I don't feel too badly when they wear them out, knowing that I didn't spend a fortune on them. Still it would be nice if we never needed to buy another Brown Bear, Brown Bear or Good Night Moon. I'm pretty sure we're into the double digits on the number of copies we've purchased (and ruined).

Nicole said...

Many of our books - particularly our baby books - are out of commission too. When some of my friends were asking what my third child wanted for her 1st birthday they couldn't believe it when I said books. They figured by child number three I already had all the books I could ever need, but by child number three, not many books had survived all the "love". The good news is that it does get better. My 4 year old is very protective of her books now and refuses to let her sisters near them.

Quadmama said...

Even at five years old my girls can still be hard on books. They love books, but can be so excited that they forget to be gentle. One thing that has helped us is checking out library books. We have hundreds of kids books of our own because my mom taught elementary school, but for some reason borrowing books has helped them learn to protect books.

MultipleMum said...

We have the same issues here. The Minx likes to think she is an 'artist' and if I am not watching at all times, she goes to work! And do not get me started on the peeling! They manage to find 'an end' from nowhere and then it is all over Red Rover. Sigh. The things we have to endure in the name of a child's education!

Rebecca said...

I'm pretty sure I have scared the "bejezzus" out of the Crazies b/c they don't really abuse books too much...we'll take those striped honor thingies right off your hands if that's all it takes (and by "thingies," I was proving that they would be smart...not me).

Jen said...

Brooke was the same way with books, between about 18 months and 2 years. She was a little monster, lol. She's a lot better now and I can even trust her with paper page books as long as she's sitting in her high chair with them. She L-O-V-E-S books (like her Mommy). If she wants books and you don't give them to her, look out! lol