Saturday, January 19, 2008

Get me a book, stat

When Dan was really little, he would drift off to sleep nestled next to Jim in the recliner with the TV on. It was the only way to get him to settle down at night, and, incidentally, the only time he was completely still when his eyes were open. Now I worry that we've ruined his appetite for reading books. But, really, we were desperate at the time for something, anything to get him to settle down.

You see, sitting still just isn't his thing. Most of the recent photos of him are blurry. He just moves too fast. But in the past week, he's been sitting with me when he's tired or just needs to recharge. And, of course, at the time, I'm nowhere near an appropriate book to read him. So I've read him articles from Parenting, Organic Gardening and Real Simple magazines, a few bits from a book on Europe after World War II and a subscription card from Parenting magazine.

One day, as Dan sat nearly motionless in my lap, I mouthed to Jim, "Get me a book, quickly!" Of course, he didn't move fast enough for me (actually, no one does) and I nearly lost the moment. It's like trying to photograph a squirrel before it flees. If I make any sudden moves, he'll boogie down my lap and be halfway across the room in two seconds; so, obviously, getting up for a book is out of the question. Jim's strategy is a little different. He reads loudly while Dan runs around upstairs and checks in whenever Jim does funny voices. I prefer not to read to a moving target. So far, only two books have held his attention and they're both interactive books - a touch-and-feel book and a lift-the-flap book. He's so over The Very Quiet Cricket and The Little Engine That Could.

I'm about as impatient with this process as he is with sitting still. Wonder where he gets this impatient streak?

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