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Posts about Colton's Cleft Lip and Palate surgeries as well as the Triplets' Cranial Bands are along the sidebar.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Story time. It's about time.

While I was trying to get pregnant, I would torture myself with Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle images of my 'perfect little family.' I daydreamed about how life would someday be-What the kids would look like, what our house would look like, what kinds of healthy, creative meals I would prepare, how well my kids would listen (the first time), and even how cute my child {yes, I said child} would look, in his footie pajamas, as he snuggled up next to me in our cozy glider chair preparing for our nightly story time.  Our dimly lit lamp illuminating the pages of our Curious George Anthology, we would of course track every word with our fingers, stopping to make predictions and review important vocabulary.

This was of course, before my uterus was blessed with three gremlins AT THE SAME TIME!

Because that aint at ALL how story time goes in this house.

In fact, despite my endless knowledge about the importance of reading to your kids every day, I just couldn't make it happen. Yes, it was easy to plunk books down in front of them and let them look at the books, but I just could not find a good way to work story time into our nightly routine. When they were babies, I think I just felt so accomplished if we could actually get diapers and jammies on three babies and get them into their cribs after a bottle and rousing round of burping that the thought of adding a story to that mix just about had the potential to put me over the edge.

Then, they were new toddlers and it was literally the greatest accomplishment of the day if we could get them to STAY in their beds, hopefully with freshly brushed teeth.  So again, story time just never really 'fit.'

And as such, it really didn't happen all that regularly. {And by 'all that regularly', I really mean almost never, but I wrote it the other way so I wouldn't feel like such a schmuck.} I mean seriously. Talk about hypocrisy. I've been a teacher for 12 years-9 of those in kindergarten. I require my students' families to read to them nightly and yet, I could not even think about attempting, let alone achieving the same feat with my own kids.

So recently, Brian was away in Alabama for 6 weeks and at some point during that time, the kids and I began a routine. A story time routine.

It all started with 'Are You My Mother?'. I was giddy inside that they showed such interest in this book, because I still have memories of reading it when I was little.

So, jammies on,  we all pile onto Colton's bed together. Ethan sits in my lap, Colton on my right, Hunter on my left. I am required to track the print with my finger because they love to see what word I'm reading. They've learned so many sight words that they soon realized that they can actually read the majority of the words in that book, which was really amazing for me to see.

Sometime into our new routine, voices were born....for the cow, the Snort, and the favorite of all-the dog. (Imagine the slowest, droopiest Basset Houndy voice you can.)

We interacted with the story...when it says "The baby bird looked up," we all looked up. When it says 'The baby bird looked down," we all looked down. They predicted the next animal or automobile, and practically recited every word of every page from memory. For the first time in 4 years, I actually looked forward to story time.

 After about a month, they allowed me to introduce a book OTHER than 'Are you my mother' into the mix and now we read one or two, and then they crawl into bed.
Love the active particpation?? Hugless Douglass YAWWwwwnned."

 Once they're in, I announce what the next night's story will be and I place it 'on deck' (on the bookshelf next to the lamp.)

And by golly, if their attention spans haven't improved! Their interest in books, in learning new vocabulary, in making predictions about what's going to happen-it's all improved.

{But more than anything, I love that I'm no longer the world's crappiest kindergarten teacher/triplet mom!}

Doesn't that deserve a vote? Only 4 more days and I'll stop the harassment!

Circle of Moms Top 25 Moms of Multiples - 2013 - Vote for me!


Anabelle said...

Are You My Mother is one of Jaxon & Reesey's fave books!

PS I love all of their jammies. Nice choices :)

Courtney said...

Love the active participation!!

Spring said...

It's really good to know that I am not alone in feeling completely overwhelmed with story time. We were only ever able to make it work when our boys were 4-8ish months, when they sat in bumbos. After that we faced the same obstacles as you with just getting them in bed after dinner bottles & now at 2 their attention spans just can't handle it. They do however love to sit with books on their own & call out or sign the objects on the page. I've convinced myself that is good enough :)
I look forward to when we are able to read stories at bedtime & it be a positive experience.

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