02/03/2016

A long journey for retrieving reading time






Books have always been a significant part of my life. Being an only child, I've spent a huge chunk of my childhood with my head over a book, a habit I managed to carry into adulthood until... I became a mother. Suddenly, there was no time, or if there was, I couldn't locate it... in no time, I was out of the habit and reading became a luxury, a memory of an old self...

If when he was newborn I knew that it was just the way it had to be, as soon as he was steadily sleeping (or falling asleep, to be more accurate) in his own bed, I began aiming for some love (=time) with my books.The plan was simple: get my little jawbreaker to sleep and then read a bit before bed.

Easy, right? Well, not that simple, because his sleeping routine, although quite simple (teeth, pajamas, story, lights off, sleep) was MY sleeping routine as well: By the time he was asleep, so was I... At the end of the day, with everything prepared for the next morning (so that I could dive into a book), sitting in the dark, the silence being broken only by the occasional tender whisper: Shh... my eyelids would succumb shortly... I could only drag myself to bed, or, as it happened so many times, being grabbed by Pedro to our own bed, half-asleep.

I tried leaving his room just after the story, but that would frequently lead to a situation where he would be wandering back and forth between bedrooms, stretching his own bedtime way too far. And instead of a quiet, loving time before sleep, there was a duel of strength at a time my strength was at its worst. Not for me - so back to his room until he was deep asleep it was.

And one day, I simply took one book with me, went through his sleeping routine, only instead of turning off the light after the story, instead of trying to stay awake, instead of trying to leave as soon as possible, I just Kissed him goodnight and opened my book, quietly.
And it's been working out great! Some Days he is more excited, so I hand him one of his own books, which he pretends to read quietly (like his mommy is doing) until he closes his eyes.

I know. It was so simple and obvious, and it took me so long to get here... and I'm writing a post about something so ordinary... But it's exactly why I am sharing this story, I believe life is a trial/error experience, and it takes a great dose of failure and passing by the obvious until we get it right at some point sometimes. And the answer is usually simpler than what we imagined it, wouldn't you say so?

4 comments:

  1. I agree, the simplest answer is often the most elusive. Sometimes I feel silly when I finally realise that the solution was so obvious, but it's not silly really, often we are just too busy, or tired, or used to things being complex to see the simplicity. I'm glad you've got some reading time for yourself now, and it's probably very relaxing for your son to have your quiet presence as he settles for the night.

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    1. I like the way you've put it: The simplest answer is often the most elusive (just copied it to my notebook!). It is very relaxing for the both of us :)

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  2. I totally agree! We are often too tired to see the obvious :). I think it is so good for children to see their parents reading and enjoying books.

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    1. Yes - Witnessing how we parents do it naturally and how much we enjoy it is probably the best way to get them to do so as well, right? Like any four year old, he enjoys stories very much, but I know that growing up, sometimes kids lose interest... I hope that won't happen, but I feel it can be tricky as it can't be an imposed thing, or he can endup hating books instead. I'm hoping this will have a positive impact in his relationships with books in the long-term!

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