I bribed them… in utero. Well, maybe it wasn’t so much a bribe as exposure. I mean they were kind of captive, right? Supposedly kids can hear you at about five months during gestation, so I began reading to them the moment I found out I was pregnant. I know, I’m a little nuts. But to me, reading was an escape, an adventure, a thrill, something I cherished. I couldn’t take a chance that my kids would turn out to be … gasp…. Non-readers- ahhhh! Yep, no way, so I figured, “What do I have to lose?”
I was taking no chances and read them out loud right to my belly. I know, seriously twisted. But then again, when you’re on bed rest with twins and bored out of your mind, all bets are off on sanity.
Then it was time to go and meet the dynamic duo, whom we fondly referred to as Alien and Predator. I packed the following in my hospital bag: Mem Fox’s Time for Bed; Goodnight Moon and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Yep. I read them all three nights. I cried every time I read Dr. Seuss (and I still do). The nurses smiled; maybe they thought my bedtime reading routine wouldn’t last. But it did.
My husband and I bathed our twins every night, put their jammies on after their bath, combed the three hairs on their heads and then read to them. We taught our ritual everyone that came into our world. We had songs and dances for our Sandra Boynton favorites like Hippos Go Berserk and Snuggle Puppy. We have loads of photos with family and friends all reading to our kids and loving every minute.
We read to our kids before nap and after preschool, in the sun and sometimes...just because. There is always time for reading. There is always access to books. NO electronics in our car, just a bunch of books and paper should inspiration strike. My daughter has already written two best sellers in the preschool world and I edited them for her.
Now my kids are six and in Kindergarten. Are they readers? You bet your library card. Is it because of mommy’s crazy tactic? I’d like to think so. Or maybe they are genetically wired to read. Who knows? They read and write in two languages. Soon a third- Hebrew.
Victoria & Sam
They love books, libraries, book stores, book mobiles and words. They love to tell stories and draw them and write them down. They know which way to hold up a book, a skill mastered when they were one. They are amazing and avid readers and I marvel at the places they will go.