Saturday, September 03, 2011

The family who reads together

Look what we came across yesterday:

(l-r) L., G., and K.
This was K. reading stories to his little sisters.  He is reading them some of their favorite books from The Nutshell Library. (I think they like them mainly because of their size; it's easy for little hands to carry them.  But Pierre and Chicken Soup with Rice are two of my favorite children's books as well.)  As I listened in to K.'s "reading", I was impressed that he was hitting the highlights of the story.  This is an important feat for this little boy.  This has been a big summer for him, developmentally-wise and I can't wait to see what gains he makes this fall.

G. and L. are the perfect audience for him.  As long as someone is reading to them, reading anything, they will sit and listen.  At one point the other day, I noticed the two of them sitting side by side and L. had a book open on her lap and she was saying, "Eh, eh, eh, eh-eh, eh." for each page and G. was listening attentively.  When G. saw me, she smiled, pointed to L. and said, "Read book", then turned her attention back to the story, such as it was, being told.  It was very sweet.

Of course, keeping my book and story mad children supplied with reading material is no easy feat.  It requires regular trips to the library which we also made yesterday.  I had 6 children with me (A. was home hovering over the baby gerbils and had invited a friend to help her.  They agreed to watch the little girls and I took the friend's younger brother, who is a good buddy of P.'s to the library.  Clear?) and between us we checked out nearly 80 books.  If you're curious, you need about 6 children along to carry that many books; we had 8 canvas bags full of them.  You can see why we were devastated when the branch library which was a half a block from us closed.

I should plan accordingly on library days and be sure everyone (including myself) has done everything around the house first before we go, because once we get home with all those delicious unread books, all is lost.  We sit around in piles of books and read until there is something dire enough to cause one of us to rouse from our bookish stupor and do something about it.  At least those three up at the top come by it naturally.


Anonymous said...

It is so fun now that we have a toddler who loves books. Up until last month, every time we tried to read him a book, he would push is away. Now, he loves to sit and read. I was hoping that persistence would win out.
On another note. The pic shows size perspective between your five year old and girls. Our toddler and five year old wrestle it out. Thankfully the five year old is gentle, but we do have to tell him, on occasion to push away the toddler. It is good that the five year old will always be older. They can already wear the same pj's since the toddler is bigger around than the five year old.
Kim Crawford

Lucy said...

If I may ask a question out of curiosity, has anyone used the term 'stress dwarfism' in respect to K? I was reading Temple Grandin's great book "Animals in Translation" where she used that term, and I thought of your descriptions of K's development.

It doesn't mean anything, since he is no longer in the stressful environment, and progressing well, I just wondered if he fit that description.

thecurryseven said...

Lucy -- I had never heard that term before, so I looked it up. No one has ever used it to refer to K.'s life before us, but it certainly sums up what I feel happened. It sounds remarkably similar to a story that is told in the book, "The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog" about the child who was failure to thrive until her mother was taught how to emotionally care for her. I have always had a suspicion that K.'s growth and development (or lack there of) were tied to lack of emotional nurturing as much as lack of appropriate diet.

Thanks for sharing that... it was interesting to read about and perhaps another small clue to the mystery that is K.


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