Monday, February 28, 2011

"A good book is the best of friends..."

Marty’s fortune cookie on Sunday night read, “A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.” He passed it over to me as if to say we had the cookies mixed up.

He knows who the bibliophile in this family is—at least for now.

If I have my way, Drew and Emily will one day love reading even more than their English teacher mommy.

Tonight as I scooped up the toys and put them in the basket to wrap up another day, I stopped for a moment and smiled at the number of books that were scattered among the singing animals and foam blocks.

I love how, even at this age, books are a part of having fun, even if it means chewing its corners or holding it up for closer inspection before dropping on the other’s head. I always get a good laugh at the irony of seeing one of them eating the book, Growing Foods.

The first book I read to the babies when we came home from the hospital was Are You My Mother? Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I found comfort in the message that babies know their mommies-- even when their mommies are overwhelmed, exhausted, and hyper-emotional. Later, after I went back to work, the book took on new meaning, as I assured myself that even if I had to leave to bring “sustenance back to the nest,” they would still know me as Mommy.

Just then the mother bird came back to the tree. “Do you know who I am?” she said to her baby.
“Yes, I know who you are,” said the baby bird….
“You are a bird, and you are my mother.”

Another early read was Love You Forever. Sweetest book ever, but banned until my hormones reach a level where I don’t cry like a baby every time I read it.

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.

One of first important trips out of the house was to the bookstore. We commemorated the visit with a new book for each baby. One of those, How Do I Love You? became an instant favorite. As I read it, I like to substitute in their names and since it’s for two babies instead of one, we always make sure to make it plural.

How do I love you (Drew)? Let me count the ways.
I love you(Emily) as the sun loves the bright blue days…

Later, we bought the companion book, I Love You Through and Through. Currently, we get the most giggles with the parts that I can tickle and wiggle.

I love your fingers and toes, your ears and nose.

We also love the Tickle Monster, but take our word for it—don’t read it right before bed. The Tickle Monster will have them wiggling long after the last page.

I may not be right, but I’d venture to say/ You ought to be tickled ten times a day.

Marty insisted on one of our first family Christmas traditions-- reading T'was the Night Before Christmas. Granted, we read it Christmas morning since we all fell asleep on Christmas Eve.

For Valentine’s Day, Emily and Drew both got books because we all know that nothing says, “I Love You” like a chubby, board book. How Do I Love You? has turned out to be one of our new favorites.

“How do I love you? It’s impossible to say. For if I had a million days and time enough for all the praise, I couldn’t tell you all the ways…”

Finally, no night is complete at our house without the bedtime story, Time For Bed. We’ve read it so many times that now we don’t even look at the words. Sometimes we read it in funny voices. Sometimes we add animal sounds. Each time there’s always an Emmy-Bee and a Drew Bear. No matter how many nights we read it, they seem to love it just the same.

It’s time for bed little mouse, little mouse
Darkness is falling all over the house...

The stars on high are shining bright—
Sweet dreams, my darling(s), sleep well…good night

Makes me sleepy every time. Good night.


Holly Ann said...

All such wonderful books! I think one of the best things about being an elementary school teacher is my familiarity with quality children's literature. :)

Beth said...

First I have to say- Your babies are simply adorable! (and I love a little Drew...)

I had forgotten about Time For Bed! I read that hundreds of times to my big boy. I don't know what happened to it that it didn't make the transition to the quads. Yes, it a perfect sleepy rhythm. Perfect last book before tuck in.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'll have to stop back and check in on you and your little ones.

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