We’ve had a strange phenomenon in our home, concerning books. I realized not long ago that I barely pick up a picture book anymore. I used to write a semi-monthly series called What We Read which mostly featured picture books from the library–then I had a falling out with our local library (which I don’t think I’ve ever described here, but should write about) and the constant traffic of new books in our home rather ground to a halt.[Read more…]
Each month I share some of our favorite books we’ve shared over the course of the month. For reference, my boys are 5.5, 4, and 2.5 years old.
September was quite the month, apparently. I don’t think we managed to get to the library at all in September. Consequently, I don’t really have any picture books to share this month. We read a lot (we always do) but there weren’t any that especially stuck out to me. We focused a lot on reading and listening to chapter books. That wasn’t really intentional, but it’s how it worked out! Coincidentally I don’t really have book pictures, either…most of these books we read were on my Kindle. And that just doesn’t make for very good pictures. Here’s some of the boys, instead. My apologies!
Every month I’ll look back at what we’ve been reading together and separately. For reference, my boys are 5, 3.93, and 2 years old. Also, my children can’t read yet, but they’re excellent picture-lookers, so that’s what they’re doing in these photos.
This month was interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is because we spent a lot of time outdoors, so I feel like we didn’t really do as much reading as we usually do. The second is that I took the kids to the library for the first time! I admit that I have been too chicken to try going since I tried to take two-year-old Ephraim and six-or-seven-month-old-Clive who was just hard to take anywhere. That wasn’t an awful experience, but it scared me enough to not even consider taking Clive to a library for a long, long time. Over three years!
I started writing this post back in May, before we moved, while I was waist-deep in the lonely chaos of packing. I’m thinking I may as well make this a monthly tradition, to share what we’ve been reading together.
what we read
for the boys
If there’s one thing I can do to make me feel like the day hasn’t been a total waste, it’s reading with the boys. So long as we can end our day cozily cuddled on someone’s bed (because we can’t all fit on a chair anymore) with a book in hand, it seems like all of the frustrations and failures the day may have held are smoothed over and forgotten. All of the boys are eager to be read to–like most children their age, I guess–and these are the books that have been on rotation lately.
Of course we are reading a lot more than just these–but I’m just listing the favorites.
Just for reference, our boys are 5, 3.5, and 2 years old.
On our drive home from Kentucky, I read the book The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris.
As a full-time homemaker and mother, the frustration of the repetitive nature of everyday tasks is something I’ve grown incredibly familiar with. The doing of something only to have it immediately undone. Washing dishes to have them immediately dirtied. Sweeping the floor only to find a few minutes later it would need re-sweeping. The laundry basket that never, ever stayed empty.
Anselm Ioan turns fifteen months today.
A year ago this month, he was finally starting to sleep longer stretches at night–up to nine hours, I think–until summer traveling threw him for a loop and he reverted to every 3-4 hours. And napping for 45 minutes at a time.
Now he sleeps 12 hours at night, and takes two two-hour naps a day. He’s the first child to still be taking two naps consistently at this age. Thank goodness! Although I’m looking forward to the days where we can be out all morning without being concerned with missing naps, it is nice to continue in our months-old routine for just a little longer.
He’s a funny little guy. Our bedtime routine consists of a change, a book (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is his FAVORITE right now. He watches intently while I read, quietly popping in his thumb near the end of the book, and quietly murmuring “zhe enn” after I declare it “The End” and offer the book for his perusal. He flips back and forth between a few pages before tossing the book to the ground (unless I catch it on the way down.) Then he leans against me, cuddling his “my” and sucking his thumb, before I lay him down in the crib. Once there he immediately kicks himself in a circle and protests. By the time I am out the door, he’s over his complaining and quieting down to sleep. It’s almost like he just has to throw that in there.
This month he added another form of mobility to his repertoire: The Bum-Scoot. It has changed the way he sees the world. I have no idea how I have ended up with two very unorthodox movers (crawling? what’s that?) but Bum-Scooter #1 has turned out OK, so I try not to be too frustrated by it. At the very least it’s cute, and at the most it means he’s much more content than he has been these past few months.
Along with this mobility, he has encountered the truth that not all things are available to his touch. Through these encounters, I have learned that he is more strong-willed than Ephraim but not as stubborn as Clive. Thank goodness.
Another jump forward this month was his relationship with Clive. Clive was nineteen months old when Anselm was born, and was not too terribly concerned with The Baby except to find out what happened when he poked The Baby in the eyes. While he’s never been totally disinterested, because of his age Clive wasn’t as fond as Anselm as Ephraim was, and has been, since his birth. But now that Clive is nearing three, he’s taken a special interest in his baby brother, wanting to be with him, to make him laugh, to tickle him, to show him things. It means that Anselm now has two very adoring Big Brothers, and a major highlight of our day is first thing in the mornings when I get Anselm up first and bring him into the boys’ room to get them up. There is much joy and excitement on the part of all three boys when they are all together again for the first time that day.
He is keeping up his noodly-loopy-squealy-sounds, but now punctuates them with a growl.
He can say everyone’s names, but ONLY when he’s in the mood. He is a lot like Clive in his perfectionist refusal to speak until he is either perfectly capable of saying the word he has in mind, or at least until he is feeling congenial enough to talk to you. He has started a gravely-growly self-narrative, though, which he brings out when he’s playing alone or is just not aware he’s being watched.
He himself is endlessly observant, as if the whole house atmosphere is endlessly intriguing and worthy of very close inspection; he will spend an hour or more scooting quietly from room to room, looking at this or that. He watches his brothers very closely, and is eager to be entertained by them and entertain them in turn. On the whole, he has the air of someone who knows very well that he is The Baby Of The Family: that his snaggletooth grin is dangerously disarming; that Mama melts when he sucks his thumb (that little finger on the nose!); that The Cat finds him irresistible; that his brothers think he is the best baby brother anyone could ask for.
Great-Grandma came for a visit.
She and Littlest Muse spent some time perusing books together.
Three legacies I am beyond thankful for that have been passed through the generations of my families: the love of God, the love of music, and the love of reading.