Last Friday evening, at bedtime, I read my daughter her first ever “chapter book”, i.e. a book with mostly words rather than pictures. It’s about three years earlier than I thought, mind you, but I’m very excited. It seems to me like my parenting philosophy of letting things like this happen and seeing what the reactions are, is paying off. I guess you could call it “seat of the pants” parenting, not much different than my writing, really.
Here’s how it happened. Friday night, my wife took our daughter (who is nearly 4 years old now, eek!) to the library for a bingo night. I’m not sure what really happened at bingo night other than they were in the kid’s section of the library, they weren’t allowed to be “too loud”, they had a really good time, and my daughter won a copy of Charlotte’s Web. Upon hearing this I was ecstatic. I mean, free books? Yay!
When it was time for bed, like most nights, my wife took the boy to feed him to get him to sleep, and I went with my daughter to her room to read to her a bit before bedtime. I asked her if she wanted me to read Charlotte’s Web and she said yes. I told her there weren’t any pictures and she said she was okay with it. I read a chapter, not sure how long I’d keep her attention and even more unsure if it would help her fall asleep. Well, she had a few questions while I was reading (a good sign) and we made it through one chapter before I asked her if she wanted to continue to read or go to sleep. She chose sleep and I put down the book.
The following night we read a second chapter and she did equally well, remembering right where we left off. It was an amazing feeling.
So, yeah, we’re now onto “real books”. It’s very cool indeed. I’m sure we’ll continue to do picture books as well, and I’m happy with that too. Still, I feel like we’ve leveled up a bit, my daughter and I. I also know these days won’t last forever. For now, though, I’m enjoying every minute of it. Now, if we could just get the one year old to sit still long enough to finish a five page board book. Boys…