Read to me!

Tad is not feeling well right now. Something is up in that digestive system of his. As a result, he has a bad case of diaper rash that we are actively treating, but his little bottom is pretty red and sore.

After changing him yesterday (with many cries as I wiped him off as carefully as I could), I put him down and went to go rinse out his cloth diaper. Coming back into his bedroom, I found him sitting on the rocking chair glider, clutching our board book copy of Goodnight Moon and his bunny blanket. As I plopped the wet diaper into the pail, he held the book out to me, and in his baby babble, asked me to read it to him.

“Of course I will read to you!” I exclaimed. “Just let Mommy go wash her hands first.”

After I washed up, I picked up my wiry snuggle monkey of a son and sat him in my lap. The Munchkin saw that I was going to read to him and immediately demanded equal time and space in my lap as well. So, each kid got a leg, and I read Goodnight Moon to them. Tad wanted to hold the book after I was done reading, and he just sat in the chair, looking at the pictures. I called my mother to ask her a question, and told her about Tad asking me to read to him. “And he’s looking at the book right now, and just being so gentle with it,” I said as I walked back into his bedroom.

He was trying to eat the binding off the book.

I had to take it away, which triggered many tears. I went and found some cloth and vinyl books that he could chew on with impunity, which sort of solved the problem. But he really wanted Goodnight Moon.

I read it to him twice at bedtime last night. After reading it once, I attempted to read Curious George to him, but he wanted none of it. So, like a broken record, I read it again. He wanted to hold it and look at the pictures, but I had to take it away again when he tried to eat a page. He was furious with me, but horribly tired. So I popped him into his crib and tucked him in, and he didn’t make a sound after that.

My mother theorized that Goodnight Moon now means special time with Mommy or Daddy to Tad, since we trade off bedtime rituals with the kids. If he reads to the Munchkin, then I’m reading to Tad. Obviously, one is more complicated than the other, so whoever gets Tad definitely has an easier bedtime to deal with. So we trade off. It’s important that both kids get time with us reading to them. As time goes on, I may read more “girl” books to the Munchkin and the Webmaster may spend more time reading to Tad. But for now, it’s pretty even. And it’s clear that Tad is enjoying the time spent reading. And he has a new word now – “down” – which he repeats after we tell him to “Get down!” He’s constantly climbing on furniture, so one of us will say, “Tad, get down!” And then he’ll say, “Down,” and give us a coy grin. Then we physically move him and there are tears, but he always climbs back up.

In the meantime, if Tad’s tummy isn’t cooperating and I have to read him Goodnight Moon several times a day to keep him happy, so be it. I could recite the thing in my sleep (it was the first book we read to the Munchkin at this age, too), but it’s an easy read.

And in the matter of his tummy – I created a simple rice pudding recipe using Cream of Rice, milk, brown sugar and cinnamon. Tad made a mess out of himself eating it. He wouldn’t let me feed him, so I gave him a Tupperware bowl and a toddler spoon and let him go at it. Even the Munchkin tried it and said, “Oh, it tasty, Mommy!” So I hope that a few more servings of that – plus the bananas I’m feeding him – will help him out soon. And all that A&D on his bottom protects and heals up his skin.

Trick-or-treating tonight! Pictures tomorrow, I promise.

One Response to “Read to me!”

  1. mad muthas
    October 31st, 2006 12:22

    ooooh – reading to you kids is just the best thing ever, isn’t it. we still do it – not every night, and i have a friend who read dickens to his 15 year old.
    hope the nappy rash is better soon.