Drum roll…

An actual proper post about books. And reading. To my daughter. And other people’s children too! Crack open the bubbly! Woohoo, bookandbed has remembered to focus.

I’ve had a fantastic weekend. I didn’t win the lottery. Or go on an amazing mini-break to some ubercool destination. I didn’t even get much sleep. But I didn’t work. And I didn’t think about work. Nuhuh. I ask myself excitedly, am I cured?! (resounding silence means probably not.) No, the lack of grown adults restraining themselves from clobbering the other over the head with iron saucepans, HannahBarbera-style, means one thing. Like the lily that flowers once every 5 years at Kew Gardens, balance is back in town. For one day only.

Yesterday, we all went on our playdate to see lovely people and their lovely kids and I got to read The Gruffalo to all 3 of them. Noone asked me to. I just did. I sat on the floor and they stood around me, Monkeyface trying to scale me like a puppy wanting attention. The room was full of chatting adults, so it was tricky to read aloud rto them with blocked ears, but the joy it gave me as well as the 3 shining faces, looking up at me in wonder. And then Monkey-face “again, again.” I’ve reread that. It does sound a bit odd, like I was trying to read to the adults too (come sit on the carpet, all of you. Yes, parents too… Shoes off. I’m waiting.) It wasn’t like that, truly. I also let mrbookandbed have a crack at it.

So beautiful. For the first time yesterday, I remarked to myself that Monkey-face may actually be introverted. She needs time to warm up, she’s a little shy (although I don’t like using that word) and I realised quite like me. Yes. I’ll break and allow laughter. I make noise and fuss as a reaction to my lack of balance. It’s taken me a long time to realise, that’s not who I am, but who I thought I should be or what I tried to make myself be to fix everything and everyone. I saw her looking uncertainly at the other children and not being quite sure how to play with them or how to approach, and then sometimes the big fake laugh to try and win affection. Ouch. This may just be that she is two (this is the time when they learn to socialise) and I saw, in how she wanted the contact with me, just how much she needs my guidance to help her gain confidence. She’s an absolutely gorgeous child. By the time we left my friends’ stunning home, she was in stitches, laughing with the other children and “warmed up.” She’s a gentle thing, more often boisterous and cranky because her needs havent been met (she’s tired, or hungry or bored.) She needs more time and positive attention. She needs her ten minutes a day. She needs me.

So, this morning, we read the Lost and Found pop-up book by Oliver Jeffers for about ten minutes. Monkey-face was playing with the pop-up book, nestling me and snuggling. As I read, I realised, it was the first time I’d looked at it beyond the first few pages and was touched by what a lovely tender book it is. A little penguin following around a boy. They both love each other. They both find each other. Fantastic book.

 

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