Today's topic in our Real Moms series has me feeling mixed emotions. You're probably wondering why the hell something like children's books can have a deep meaning attached to it but I guess everything with being a parent does, doesn't it? I'm a little sheepish about this because, confession: I'm really not much of a book reader myself. I can't tell you the last time I sat down and read a novel. Truly. It's a joke amongst my family. Ian constantly tells me about books I would enjoy and then says, "but you wont read it," and moves on. This is a quality in myself I'm pretty ashamed and disappointed in, but I honestly just can't get myself to sit down for long enough to read without falling asleep or getting distracted. I would love to change this about myself (and it probably speaks to other issues like technology imbalance) so if you have any tips, don't be shy. For this reason, I won't be the mom to in this group to recommend any parenting books. Actually wait - before Sailor was born, I DID listen to most of Bringing Up Bébé and read bits and pieces of Mindful Birthing (and for a hot minute thought maybe I would do the thing without an epidural - cute of me), both of which I found to be very helpful if you're getting ready to have a baby. I love the insightfulness books can bring to something so huge as becoming a parent, but I need to learn how to sit still for long enough to relax and enjoy them.
Something has changed in my life though when it comes to reading, and that is that Sailor LOVES books and I truly enjoy reading to her. Aside from always being surrounded by her books and reading to her throughout the day, reading to her right before bed is one of my favorite parts of our daily routine. I love sitting in her nursery with her clutching a stuffed animal, and reading a little stack of books to her before putting her down. Sometimes she pushes a book away after two pages and grabs another one, and sometimes she hangs on every word, pointing at the dogs and going "Woof" or to Coco Chanel and going "Coco!" Mind you, she still doesn't say Mama.
We have a wide mix of different kinds of books in our collection, and Sailor loves so many of them. Some are my picks because they are design conscious, cute, tell stories that interest me, or are books from my own childhood. Surprisingly, she'll enjoy those as much as other more brightly colored books with fewer words on the page - go figure. But her favorites at 15 months are mostly the ones that have figures she feels connected to for one reason or another, dogs, other animals she thinks are dogs, or that one-haired baby in the Leslie Patricelli board books, who she points to and then kisses every page he's on. Our picks are based on what she gravitates to, engages with, carries around with her. Some have meaningful stories, others are just fun, but at her age it's not as deep of a decision. For us, it's about what teaches her new words, and what gives her comfort and makes her laugh.
Sailors standout obsessions and I would say MUST HAVES if you have a kid Sailor's age or approaching her age:
The rest of our faves:
I can't wait to get some more book ideas from the other mamas:
Photography by Ashley Burns