This post is part of the November Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism, hosted this month here at Where Going Havo?
When I imagined what it would be like to have a child, besides the predicted sleepless nights and constant asking "WHY?", I imagined putting my child to sleep at night by reading books or telling stories.
The sleepless nights never really arrived, but we've been fielding dozens of WHY questions daily for a while now. My daughter was never really interested in being read to at bedtime before, and when I offered to tell her a story she ran to the bookshelf - I said no, I'm going to TELL you the story - she looked pityingly at me and said, You need the book first, MOTHER. (Paraphrase)
However, in the last couple of weeks our nighttime routine consists of books or fairy tales until she drops off to sleep.
I couldn't be more thrilled.
We go through a wide variety of books from our bookshelves, though of course she has some favorites we tend to return to. I love that her attention span and understanding of the stories has increased, so we can even read some of the books with more sentences per page. We have a few collections of fairy tales, so I've been reading to her from those quite a bit. (I figure she needs a good background in classic fairy tales before moving on to Phase 2: Greek Mythology.)
For a while she made me tell her The Three Little Pigs every night. Sometimes I didn't even make it past the second pig before she fell asleep, but she wanted to hear it. Her favorite part is the Big Bad Wolf. She likes him in Little Red Riding Hood too, and I also inserted him into a story I made up for her about a nice Waaah (monster) who just wants to be friends with all the kids, and finally succeeds when he saves them from the Big Bad Wolf. K finds this story deeply engaging and usually demands to hear it two or three times in a row.
But my favorite part of story-telling, right at this age, is the following exchange we have during nearly every re-telling of Three Little Pigs:
Me: Once upon a time there were three little pigs whose mama loved them very much. They gave their mama a kiss and set off into the world to seek their fortune.
K, shocked: WHY??
Me: Because they were grown up and it was time to leave home.
K, deeply disturbed: Why they go away??
Me: Well, when people grow up then they sometimes want to go and have a new home and seek their fortune. You might want to seek your fortune when you grow up, too.
K allows me to continue, but she is visibly uncomfortable with the idea. She doesn't understand why anyone would leave home when they have a MAMA who LOVES them.
I have to admit that I don't like the idea, either! I pray she keeps this attitude for a long time yet. Sweet, sweet girl.